Since I have studied one year at North Carolina State University before I came to Virginia Tech. I decided to choose these two universities to demonstrate their mission statements and to provide some comments based on my learning experience.
North Carolina State University
“As a research-extensive land-grant university, North Carolina State University is dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. By uniting our strength in science and technology with a commitment to excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines, NC State promotes an integrated approach to problem solving that transforms lives and provides leadership for social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina and around the world.”
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.
Both two are land-grant universities. To understand what is land-grant, I search on Wikipedia:
“A land-grant university (also called land-grant college or land-grant institution) is an institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The mission of these institutions as set forth in the 1862 Act is to focus on the teaching of practical agriculture, science, military science and engineering, as a response to the industrial revolution and changing social class.”
Nowadays, the mission of these land-grant universities (institutes) has extended to teach (education), research, and extension. And clearly both VT and NCSU have demonstrated their mission as part of these land-grant universities in these three aspects and commit to them throughout the learning environment on campus and off campus.
I have to admit that the system of land-grant universities is quite uniquely established in the United States and it has made great achievements on the national as well as the global education. It attracts thousands of thousands international students coming here for high-quality education and self-fulfillment.
When I look for mission statements for VT and NCSU, I find it interesting to compare them with the mission statements for universities in China. However, it seems we don’t have such mission statements, instead each university has its own motto that serves as mission statement to convey the spirit of higher education. Here I choose two excellent universities, Tsinghua University and Fudan University.
Tsinghua University motto: “Self-discipline and social commitment”.
Fudan University motto: “Rich in knowledge and tenacious of purposes, inquiring with earnestness and reflecting with self-practice”.
No matter what kind of mission statements or university mottos to convey, they all come to the same destination as to make our lives better and make the society safer through research, education, and extension.