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What Is Possible ...

NMH digs deep into its mission and values to envision the future.

Photos by Matthew Cavanaugh, Glenn Minshall, David Warren

In September 2020, Northfield Mount Hermon launched an in-person school year in the midst of COVID-19. The pandemic shaped nearly every aspect of NMH’s day-to-day operations, yet diminished none of the school’s aspirations for the future. This critical moment was either a lousy time to start a strategic planning process — or just the right time. The NMH Board of Trustees decided on the latter.

They dove into conversations about how to preserve and strengthen NMH’s historical commitment to academic excellence and diversity in its many forms; how to affirm and nurture each student’s potential in their journey to young adulthood; how to continue to educate students’ heads, hearts, and hands, and get better at it every year. The board joined with hundreds of faculty and staff members, students, alumni, and parents to broaden and deepen the discussion. Through surveys, focus groups, and working committees, the NMH community framed ambitious goals while staying rooted in the school’s mission and values. 

Below, we share a clear vision for how NMH will measure success in the months and years ahead. The Strategic Framework calls for nothing less than transformation, which sounds huge, and it is, but it’s also what NMH has been doing since the day D.L. Moody opened the school’s doors 143 years ago. From the transformative qualities each student brings to NMH, to the transformative effect a dedicated mentor can have on a student’s life, to the transformation sparked by alumni and parent support — it all feeds into the transformative contributions that NMH, as an institution, is making in the world.

MISSION

Northfield Mount Hermon educates the head, heart, and hands of our students. We engage their intellect, compassion, and talents, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose.
 

VALUES

Inclusivity

We seek to create a culture where all members feel they belong and where everyone is welcomed, respected, accepted, and supported. We embrace the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas our community members bring and ask that students aspire to develop their unique selves and talents. Because we value such a learning environment, our students are better equipped to empathize, listen, serve, and lead. 

Learning for Life

Education for the head, heart, and hands inspires learning for life. We challenge each other to be curious, to think critically, to recognize and challenge biases, and to pursue the best version of ourselves. We expect each member of the community to respect others, engage with differing worldviews, gain cultural literacies, and think and act as a force for good. 

Service

We model and celebrate the ideal that learning and growth require genuine service to others. Service demands respect, compassion, and empathy. As students develop these capacities, they gain a deeper understanding of how individual and collective efforts — service and leadership — can transform communities and change the world.
 

VISION

We will …

  • Be a collective force for good as we educate the next generation of students who will serve and lead in communities around the world.
     
  • Make historic investments in financial aid and assert our commitment to providing access and opportunity to underrepresented communities. 
     
  • Deliver a rigorous, immersive, and interdisciplinary program that relies on authentic connections, reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship and social justice, nurtures a global perspective, and leverages our unique resources on campus and around the world.
     
  • Live our mission and values across the life of our school.

 

PRIORITIES

Expect transformation.


Our expectations are high for our school and for our students. 

In educating students’ head, heart, and hands in preparation for college and life, we call forth their intellectual, physical, cultural, and spiritual growth. We seek to identify and nurture individual strengths so that students may discover their best selves and, together, be a collective and transformative force for good in communities around the world.

Associated Goals

  • Deliver an exceptional academic experience. This requires strength across disciplines as well as distinctive programs that align with NMH’s mission, integrate diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and sustainability principles, and promote outstanding communication skills. 
     
  • Embrace learning across campus, in our local community, and around the world. From athletics to performing arts to student leadership roles to workjob to the farm to residential life to service-learning to immersive international travel, experiential learning opportunities profoundly shape the NMH experience. Success requires explicit learning and growth objectives in every facet of the student experience, as well as a shared commitment to the ideal that, when we engage, we seek to do our best work. 
     
  • Meet students where they are. From the moment we accept students, we must understand their unique strengths and needs, their aspirations, and how we will support them. This requires authentic relationships, as well as a commitment to each student’s social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual growth. It also calls for ongoing assessment, flexible learning plans and paths, and consistent communication with students and among 
To learn more about how NMH is envisioning the future, find the entire Strategic Framework online at: NMHframework
 
autumn trees


Invest in people. 


We believe in the potential of each student; the impact of great teachers, coaches, and mentors; and the strength of our alumni network.

Associated Goals

  • Expand access and opportunity. We must make historic investments in financial aid and reduce the financial barriers to enrolling students. 
     
  • Reflect and support diversity in its many forms. NMH must attract and retain students and employees whose talents and perspectives better reflect the diversity in our country and around the world. Our success requires an equitable and inclusive experience across the life of our school.
     
  • Strengthen and support our faculty and staff. We must value the contributions of all employees, compensate them fairly, offer a healthy work environment, and invest in ongoing professional development so that employees may advance as leaders in their fields.
     
  • Activate our alumni network. We must develop professional networking and student-focused career development programs that leverage the expertise within the alumni body.

 

Steward our resources.


Our place on the Connecticut River differentiates us. It connects us to the land and our community in unique ways, and it provides a springboard to serve more broadly and boldly. We understand the importance of our leadership and modeling environmental stewardship in our daily lives, as well as in our institutional decision making. 

Associated Goals

  • Act locally and globally. Understand the cultural and social contexts of the Connecticut River Valley, including the legacy and enduring presence of the Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Abenaki tribes and our founder D.L. Moody’s vision for the school. Strengthen interdisciplinary programs that connect students to the land and the community, emphasize environmental stewardship, and promote service to others.
     
  • Maximize campus resources. The Gilder Center, the Rhodes Arts Center, the Draper Riverhouse, the farm, and other outstanding facilities provide unique opportunities for our students. They also require purposeful attention to expand their impact as we create signature programs.
     
  • Strengthen our financial foundation. We must steward and grow our existing resources and align investment with our strategic priorities to the benefit of current generations, without compromising the long-term health of the school for future generations.
     
  • Communicate our impact. Express and celebrate Northfield Mount Hermon’s distinct identity, history, and educational mission with greater clarity and pride internally and in the broader marketplace.