Salem was founded in 1772 to afford educational access and opportunity to those previously denied access to the power of knowledge, particularly women. This was a radical idea at the time and Salem’s commitment to educational access and opportunity for all strongly continues to this day.
Even as the number of women’s colleges in the United States has dropped to 30 institutions today, the existence of women’s colleges, like Salem, is more important than ever. Gender equity in pay, power and policy remains out of reach for many women. Women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions across health and STEM disciplines. We continue to see major disparities in opportunity and outcomes for women locally, nationally and globally. Women’s bodies are increasingly less under their own control. Women’s health issues receive dramatically less funding for research, pharmaceutical development, and policy policy making. Caregiving and other financially unrecognized contributions to our economy and our world are disproportionately performed by women, placing unfair burdens upon the women of today.
Salem College’s mission is to prepare students who care deeply about these problems and who are equipped to solve them in the future. Hopefully our graduates will someday find themselves in a world that is more equitable, more healthy and better than the one they inherited from us–and they will be the ones who make that change possible.