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Mission and Core Values

Our Mission

Guilford’s longstanding mission is clear and distinctive: to provide a transformative, practical and excellent liberal arts education that produces critical thinkers in an inclusive, diverse environment, guided by Quaker testimonies of community, equality, integrity, peace and simplicity and emphasizing the creative problem-solving skills, experience, enthusiasm and international perspectives necessary to promote positive change in the world. 

Rooted in Values, Reaching New Heights

Guilford College is grounded in the relentless pursuit of its seven Core Values. These enduring values are the basis of the College’s mission and are guided by the Quaker testimonies. The College was founded by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1837, and their principles are reflected in the campus culture.

  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Equality
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Stewardship

The campus community identified these values through a participative and inclusive process in 2003. The pursuit of these Core Values is integral to the educational experience we offer, abundantly visible in academic and co-curricular campus life.



We are committed to the cultivation of positive relationships between, and common experiences among, students, faculty and staff.


We are committed to creating an academic institution where a variety of persons and perspectives are welcome. We are committed to providing an environment where students from all cultures and backgrounds may succeed.


We are committed to setting high standards of academic rigor in courses and creating high expectations for achievement by everyone. We seek the personal and intellectual transformation of our students through the liberal arts.


We are committed to the peaceful resolution of conflict, sharing of economic and natural resources and parity in educational opportunity.


Putting Our Values Into Practice

The Higher Education in Prison Program (HEIPP) brings Guilford College instructors to incarcerated women and men who provide courses in the fields of business, English, criminal justice, sociology, psychology and conflict resolution. Watch the video to learn more.


We are committed to creating a community that acts with honesty and forthrightness, holding ourselves to high academic and ethical standards and dealing with everyone with respect.


We are committed to creating an institution and a society where everyone is appreciated and judged based on their contributions and performance rather than gender, race, religion, physical abilities, sexual identity or socio-economic condition.


We are committed to making decisions that will ensure the long-term survival of this institution. We must maximize the value of our human, financial and physical resources in ways consistent with our Quaker heritage.