Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement

In the 21st century, our pursuit of knowledge and goodness, united in usefulness to our ever-changing world, requires us to redefine how we achieve excellence in education. We must harness perspectives from every quarter to encourage adults and students to think critically, realize and challenge their assumptions, and collaborate to forge a greater understanding of the world. This means developing an inclination toward, and facility with, diversity of thought, perspective and experience. This also means cultivating the empathy, understanding, and respect necessary to open one’s mind to those thoughts, perspectives and experiences that differ from one’s own. Excellence today requires nothing less.

The Trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy commit to ensuring that Exeter is a diverse and inclusive community where each person has the tools to flourish. Diversity and inclusion are critical to sustaining and strengthening our tradition of excellence in all aspects of life at Exeter - academic, programmatic and organizational. Fostering an experience where all participants feel they can bring their full selves forward is not merely aspirational, it is fundamental to our educational mission and method. Our commitment to our community is to do more than assemble a diverse population of students and adults: our commitment is to teach the skills, model the behaviors, provide the resources, and cultivate the environment of inclusion that is required to unlock the richness of that diversity. Only through inclusion can diversity act as a catalyst to dispel ignorance and fear, and create space to achieve equity and excellence. Only when we put these values into action, by both our words and our deeds, can we construct authentic bridges across differences and empower all individuals to become their best and fullest selves, both at Exeter and throughout their lives.  

Our Harkness pedagogy is grounded in the belief that we are all better equipped to learn and to lead when our thoughts are tested by others, particularly by those whose thoughts or identities are different from our own. Only when we skillfully engage our differences - whether they are grounded in race; ethnicity; national or geographic origin; religious, philosophical or political beliefs; gender or gender identity; sexual orientation; age; physical ability; family structure, socioeconomic status or life experience - will we find a path to that greater understanding of the world and how we can be of service to it.