From the president: ‘Castleton Way’ shows up in so many places

The Castleton Way

A couple of weeks ago James Lambert, director of Marketing and Communications, and I met with two highly respected marketing professionals to discuss best practices in website development and higher education marketing. During our conversation, we touched upon the phenomenon of similarity: the notion that higher education institutions our size promote similar values, such as small class size, caring faculty and staff, commitment to strong athletic and co-curricular programming, student support services, beautiful campus, etc. You get the idea. While these characteristics are certainly representative of Castleton University, our conversation left me reflecting on the factors that truly differentiate our storied institution from our many peers across New England, our country, and the globe.

As I walk around campus, join strategic conversations, or engage with student groups, I notice that we embrace healthy conflict in our work, inviting different perspectives with civility and respect. I appreciate the level of professionalism we employ, and the genuine interest in what our peers and associates have to say. I believe we recognize the opportunity to learn from each other in every interaction, big or small.

I have noticed a broad commitment to environmental stewardship and service to our community. Staff members partner with our facilities team to plant flowers and weed gardens. Students share in clean-up initiatives and community projects to the betterment of our region. We show, through our actions, how much we appreciate our lovely campus.

We host guests from the across the state and beyond, many of which are eager to offer feedback about their visit. Their impressions of our Castleton family and our home at Castleton University are reflective of our community. They comment on smiling faces, genuine caring and concern for each other, students opening doors for them, kind conversations, and a deep appreciation for the something special we enjoy every day at Castleton.

We call this—all of these things—The Castleton Way. It’s what makes our University such a special place to learn, live, work, and play.

The Castleton Way is embodied in our vibrant arts community, when we engage with others before a Soundings event begins, or when we welcome school children to Casella Theater for live performances. It’s in the opportunities we provide, from student research—which is rather uncommon at the undergraduate level—to hands-on learning, including internships, work co-ops, and student-led initiatives like the Social and Opinion Research Lab and the Content Lab, which serve businesses and organizations in our community through research and storytelling, respectively. It’s understanding that we don’t live in a bubble, and that it’s important for us to be good neighbors, which we support through the work of the Bridge Initiative, a town/gown committee that helps to foster the bonds between the University and Castleton residents.

It’s the smiles we share as we walk across campus. It’s the way we cheer each other on and cheer each other up. It’s being there for each other in times of sadness. It’s doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. The Castleton Way influences everything we do here; in many ways, it’s who we are.

– President Karen M Scolforo

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