President’s letter: My optimism in Gettysburg’s future remains undimmed

Following a historic year at our College, one defined by unprecedented challenges, my optimism in the vibrancy of Gettysburg’s future remains undimmed.

It is undimmed because the education we provide is as essential today as it has ever been. This is reflected in the many ways our graduates serve society, as well as the ways in which we equip our students for fulfilling personal and professional lives.

All said, Gettysburg College will not stand still. We will continue to advance our shared mission and embody our core values as we shape a bright and ambitious future together for this remarkable institution.

Since joining this community nearly two years ago, I have engaged students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, parents, and friends. We have explored what makes this College special and how we can best prepare students for the world that awaits. We also have examined the demographic and financial challenges before us and the unique opportunities within our grasp. Informed by all I have learned, I believe our path forward is not found in some radical reconceptualization of who we are. Rather, it is found in a commitment to reinforcing and building upon our institutional strengths.

Indeed, it is found in Living Our Promise.

At its heart, Living Our Promise means inspiring our students to lead lives of meaning, service, and consequence—and then showing them how to do so. This is the work of our College’s new strategic planning process. Through the extraordinary efforts of our planning committees—and the wisdom and creativity our community has brought forward—I’m pleased to share this work is actively underway and will soon find resonance across our entire student experience.

Once completed, our new strategic plan will stretch us to offer a liberal arts and sciences education that is yet more integrated, more intentional, and of the excellence that we have long expected of ourselves and that our students and families rightfully expect of us.

The strategic plan will be forged by a set of principles that derive from our institutional identity and what students need to thrive in today’s complex and interrelated world. These principles include the development of a robust, relevant, and integrated academic and cocurricular student experience; a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging; the tools to translate aspiration into action in service of society; and an improvement in our distinction, market position, and financial sustainability.

This work will not be easy—what’s important rarely is. But it is now our turn to meet our responsibilities as stewards of this venerable institution and to reach yet further toward our highest aspirations. I would encourage you to visit our strategic planning website and to contribute your voice and perspective to this important process. We want to hear from you!

Together, as Gettysburgians, let us commit to Living Our Promise to the fullest and join together in designing this College’s brightest future.


Bob Iuliano