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Mission, Values & History

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Mission Statement of Fairfield University

Fairfield University, founded by the Society of Jesus, is a coeducational institution of higher learning whose primary objectives are to develop the creative intellectual potential of its students and to foster in them ethical and religious values and a sense of social responsibility. Jesuit Education, which began in 1547, is committed today to the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.

Fairfield is Catholic in both tradition and spirit. It celebrates the God-given dignity of every human person. As a Catholic university it welcomes those of all beliefs and traditions who share its concerns for scholarship, justice, truth and freedom, and it values the diversity which their membership brings to the university community.

Fairfield educates its students through a variety of scholarly and professional disciplines. All of its schools share a liberal and humanistic perspective and a commitment to excellence. Fairfield encourages a respect for all the disciplines-their similarities, their differences, and their interrelationships. In particular, in its undergraduate schools it provides all students with a broadly based general education curriculum with a special emphasis on the traditional humanities as a complement to the more specialized preparation in disciplines and professions provided by the major programs. Fairfield is also committed to the needs of society for liberally educated professionals. It meets the needs of its students to assume positions in this society through its undergraduate and graduate professional schools and programs.

A Fairfield education is a liberal education, characterized by its breadth and depth. It offers opportunities for individual and common reflection, and it provides training in such essential human skills as analysis, synthesis, and communication. The liberally educated person is able to assimilate and organize facts, to evaluate knowledge, to identify issues, to use appropriate methods of reasoning and to convey conclusions persuasively in written and spoken word. Equally essential to liberal education is the development of the esthetic dimension of human nature, the power to imagine, to intuit, to create, and to appreciate. In its fullest sense liberal education initiates students at a mature level into their culture, its past, its present and its future.

Fairfield recognizes that learning is a life-long process and sees the education which it provides as the foundation upon which its students may continue to build within their chosen areas of scholarly study or professional development. It also seeks to foster in its students a continuing intellectual curiosity and a desire for self-education which will extend to the broad range of areas to which they have been introduced in their studies.

As a community of scholars, Fairfield gladly joins in the broader task of expanding human knowledge and deepening human understanding, and to this end it encourages and supports the scholarly research and artistic production of its faculty and students.

Fairfield has a further obligation to the wider community of which it is a part, to share with its neighbors its resources and its special expertise for the betterment of the community as a whole. Faculty and students are encouraged to participate in the larger community through service and academic activities. But most of all, Fairfield serves the wider community by educating its students to be socially aware and morally responsible persons.

Fairfield University values each of its students as an individual with unique abilities and potentials, and it respects the personal and academic freedom of all its members. At the same time it seeks to develop a greater sense of community within itself, a sense that all of its members belong to and are involved in the University, sharing common goals and a common commitment to truth and justice, and manifesting in their lives the common concern for others which is the obligation of all educated, mature human beings.

The History of Fairfield University

Fairfield University is a comprehensive Jesuit institution that prepares students for leadership and service in a constantly changing world. Founded in 1942 after the purchase of the adjoining estates of Jennings and Lashar off North Benson Road in Fairfield, the University has grown from an initial class of 303 undergraduate male students admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences in 1947 into a coeducational university of more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Along the way, the University has awarded more than 45,000 degrees since 1951, and has developed a reputation for educational excellence both regionally and nationally.

Catholic and Jesuit Mission and Identity

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942, Fairfield University is proud of its identity as a Jesuit and Catholic university, an identity that gives rise to our vibrant institutional mission: education in the liberal arts, sciences and professions that prepares students to lead their communities with insight, empathy, critical rigor and a determination to serve and promote justice.

The 2000-year-old intellectual tradition of Catholic Christianity grounds our core curriculum, in its broad humanism and commitment to reasoned inquiry. Thus we claim, with our Mission Statement, that “Fairfield is Catholic in both tradition and spirit.”

Diversity

At Fairfield, we believe that no matter what's going on in the world, more unites us than divides us. When we respect and value each other, we find the common good rooted in us all, and we work together to bring out each other's potential.

Sustainability

At Fairfield, the green movement is growing - through student activism, academic programs, faculty research, campus infrastructure, organic and local food in the cafeteria, a dedicated Sustainability Committee, and an array of eco-friendly events throughout the year.

Areas of Focus

Fairfield University's strategic vision stresses the importance of "integration" as a way of approaching education. Collaboratively, the University's focus is on producing graduates whose lives reflect personal integration, competence in multicultural understanding, and a commitment to professional responsibility.

To aid this vision, Fairfield's interdisciplinary area of focus is designed to tap into our faculty's collective knowledge base, our arts and minds programming, and the curiosities of both our undergraduate and graduate students to explore a particular theme or idea.

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