President's Letter: Gettysburg College has endured for nearly two centuries because the education we provide is enduring.

As Gettysburgians, we have an eternal promise to keep, and that is to deliver A Consequential Education to every student—one that gives them greater insight into who they are, what they want to accomplish, and how they will define and lead their own consequential life. The shape of that promise, delivered to students since our founding in 1832, has appropriately changed over time in response to changing circumstances for each generation of Gettysburg graduates.

Recently, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) asked employers which skills and aptitudes were most valuable to them in the workplace. Working in teams, critical thinking, analyzing and interpreting data, and problem solving were cited as the most essential. These are some of the same skills that are cited as career readiness competencies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Here’s what stands out: the surveyed employers stressed that while college graduates are prepared to succeed in entry-level positions, only half view today’s graduates as having the necessary skills to advance or be promoted. In other words, they identified a preparedness gap—a significant divide between the importance employers are placing on specific skills in the working world and their assessment of a college graduate’s readiness to perform those skills effectively.

We have a responsibility to respond to this preparedness gap.

This winter, we launched Living Our Promise: The Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College (—an ambitious vision for the institution over the coming years. Living Our Promise is the blueprint for how we will deliver on our promise for a new generation of students. Coupled with providing students a breadth and depth of knowledge, our Gettysburg Approach will place a heightened emphasis on developing and deepening the enduring skills most valued by employers—the skills Gettysburgians will require if they are to rise to the “unfinished work” of this moment and become the leaders and engaged citizens our society needs.

The cultivation of these skills has always been at the heart of a Gettysburg education. In fact, according to employers, Gettysburg alumni significantly outperform their peers in ‘must have’ career skills ( It’s also evident in our external rankings. Gettysburg ranks 33rd among all liberal arts colleges based on 40-year return on investment, per The Georgetown University Center on Education & the Workforce ROI Study: ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges.

Our education is equally focused on ensuring that students are prepared to lead lives of meaning and contribution—professionally, yes, but also personally. The knowledge and enduring skills gained at Gettysburg will apply throughout a student’s life, in all that they seek to do. Whether raising families, engaging in their communities, or pursuing their passions, we want our students to reach their highest aspirations. Our strategic direction will help us to achieve this.

I fully believe that our intentional approach—reinforced through our new Guided Pathways and personal Success Teams—will revolutionize what it means to receive a contemporary undergraduate education. By putting our promise of A Consequential Education into practice, and truly living it every day, Gettysburg College will deliver among the most personal and student-centered educational experiences in the entire nation—one that extends over the full arc of a student’s life and career, and readies them for all that comes next.


Bob Iuliano

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