2.1. About Oglethorpe University

Atlanta’s Liberal Arts and Sciences University

Oglethorpe University has entered an era of innovation, reinvigoration, and growth, evidenced by a dramatic rise in enrollment, increased philanthropic giving, and new strategic entrepreneurial partnerships. To accommodate growth, Oglethorpe’s campus has recently seen the addition of a new $16 million campus center, the expansion of our arts and athletics facilities, and the addition of a new residential apartment complex that includes 6,000 square feet of state of the art laboratories for teaching and learning.

Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe is Atlanta’s leading liberal arts and sciences university of more than 1150 students representing 32 states and 38 countries. Renowned for its groundbreaking Core program, Oglethorpe marries theory and practice through the A_LAB (Atlanta laboratory for learning), which serves as an incubator for students’ real-world experiential learning through civic engagement, global education, professional development and undergraduate research. Oglethorpe is the only university in Georgia to be named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to and achievement in community service every year since its inception. The University has expanded its global reach through strategic partnerships with study abroad provider LeadAbroad, including Global Oglethorpe programs in Rome and Barcelona. New partnerships with a number of respected Atlanta arts organizations, as well as the OU Museum of Art, are bringing the Atlanta arts community to campus and providing Oglethorpe students with opportunities to work and perform alongside some of the nation’s top artists and performers. Oglethorpe is a member of the Annapolis Group, comprised of America’s most selective liberal arts institutions, and has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges, Forbes’ America’s Best Colleges, and Princeton Review’s Best Southeastern Colleges. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association.

Make a life. Make a Living. Make a Difference.

Oglethorpe marries exceptional thinking with hands-on opportunities to explore and practice in one of the world’s major cities. It is this marriage of ideas and opportunity that is the hallmark of an Oglethorpe education.

Every undergraduate student establishes an intellectual foundation for life through our unique Core curriculum—an integrated, sequenced and shared academic experience that creates a special intellectual community where important questions are examined across disciplines and from varying perspectives. Through this distinctively modern approach to general education, Oglethorpe students are then able to establish meaningful expertise in their major area of study through a more thorough understanding of themselves and the world around them. It is a transformative experience that inspires our graduates to learn for a lifetime.

Classroom education at Oglethorpe is strengthened through exceptional opportunities for hands-on practice. Atlanta is Oglethorpe’s laboratory for real-world learning. Every Oglethorpe student has the opportunity to build professional skills through internships in Atlanta, home to the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 corporations in the U.S. and over 1,250 multi-national corporations. All of our students make a difference, through extensive service learning and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. They experience the world on our diverse multicultural campus, in our global city or through one of our enriching international study experiences. And they explore the depths of their academic disciplines through guided research and scholarship led by our experienced faculty.

A Bright Future

In 2010, the Board of Trustees approved a new 10-year strategic plan, The Oglethorpe Idea: Redefining Undergraduate Education through Unparalleled Engagement. It is centered on a clear vision:

“By 2020, Oglethorpe will be a university of first choice for exceptional faculty and students, where unparalleled engagement between the highest quality classroom learning and real-world application in the city of Atlanta and beyond, is our hallmark.”

In support of this plan, Oglethorpe has embarked on the most ambitious and successful comprehensive fundraising campaign in its long history.

The University’s strategic priorities are defined within five themes.

Engaged Life

Strengthen the curriculum to provide a superlative interdisciplinary foundation while connecting students to opportunities for deep experiential application.

Provide necessary support systems to ensure student academic success.

Engaged Living

Ensure that every student has the opportunity to complete one or more internships related to his or her field of study.

Prepare students to engage with a global society through the increased internationalization of our campus population and program offerings.

Engaged Difference

Enhance programs that educate students to be informed and active citizens.

Engaged Creativity

Build the arts into a signature program through the integration of our creative arts programs, including our renowned campus-based theatre company and museum of art, with distinctively excellent curricular and co-curricular programs.

Engaged Campus Community

Enhance campus infrastructure, facilities and programs to foster deeper connections among all members of our community.

These goals, accompanying strategies, and the fundraising support to execute them will enhance the financial strength of the University though the development of a stronger institutional identity and the resultant growth of enrollment so that Oglethorpe can continue to provide an exceptional education to its students.