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A Message from the President

I’m often asked what it’s like to be president of Salem. My response is immediate and heartfelt: it is a joy to lead and serve such an extraordinary intellectual community.

President Susan E. Pauly

I’m often asked what it’s like to be president of Salem. My response is immediate and heartfelt:  it is a joy to lead and serve such an extraordinary intellectual community. Here are a few of the qualities that I particularly love about Salem College:

Intellectual Power

Every day, I feel the power of intellectual life on our campus. It is in the murmur of women’s voices drifting from classrooms and labs and art studios. It is visible in the library where heads are bent over books and the sound of soft conversation mingles with the quiet clicking of keyboards. It floats across the dining hall in the energetic hum of student, faculty and staff conversations, and it is celebrated each spring on our Day of Academic Excellence when seniors present their scholarly research and we enjoy a community picnic on the lawn. 

The Joy of Community

The powerful intellectual life of our campus is enriched by the joy of community we share outside the classroom.  It is visible on our athletic fields as women pass the ball skillfully to teammates as they race down the field. We feel it spiritually as hundreds of women light candles during convocation and we raise our voices in song at the start of the year. It’s there in the laughter and theatrics of fall fest, as women express the power of community in their creative costumes, scripts and performances and showcase how Salem women shine.

Interaction with the World

Our sense of community is not only local but global as Salem students participate in international internships and engage in world travel in their coursework.  Our alumnae too extend our community worldwide through achievements as artists, scientists, business leaders, teachers, ministers, parents and entrepreneurs in countries around the world. They serve as role models, they uphold our mission and provide constant, caring support for current students at Salem.

Nurturing Individuality

At the heart of this powerful community is our belief in nurturing individuality.  At Salem, each woman develops her unique talents while being supported by a caring community.  This year, as we celebrate our 240th year of educating women, we celebrate each student not only as a member of a powerful sisterhood but also as an individual who identifies her own dreams and discovers her special gifts while at Salem.

Celebrating Our Many "Selves"

As a 21st century woman, I believe in this model of individuality within community and its power to change the world.  Our strength at Salem comes from celebrating our many selves as well as our community.  I have certainly found this to be true in my own life:  I am a college president, a wife, a mother, a ballroom dancer, a hiker, an avid reader, a writer, a community volunteer and a grandmother.  Each of these ‘selves’ contributes to who I am.  I know from our alumnae and students that the many selves of Salem women contribute to who they are and how they contribute.  This is the core of Salem’s mission: to develop the unique potential of each student so that she can realize her potential and change the world.