Jun 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Scripps Catalog 

About Scripps College

About Scripps College

When Scripps was founded in 1926 in Claremont, California, it was one of few institutions dedicated to educating women for lives of commitment and engagement. Since then, Scripps has continued to champion qualities of both mind and spirit in accordance with the vision of its founder, newspaper entrepreneur and philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps. Scripps today offers a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, a robust intellectual community, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a rich residential experience designed to shape the next generation of leaders.

As an internationally recognized leader in women’s liberal arts education, Scripps has an increasingly competitive admissions process that reflects the growing demand for a Scripps education. The College has garnered numerous prestigious national grants for student and faculty research, curriculum development, and educational initiatives, and has established a reputation for thoughtful leadership among higher education peers. Scripps students win many national fellowships and research grants and offer the skills employers value and society needs: strong critical thinking, written and oral communication abilities, a global orientation and intercultural competence, and the ability to collaborate effectively.


The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.


Ellen Browning Scripps, a reporter, global adventurer, suffragist, businesswoman, and philanthropist—a woman ahead of her time. She would have been an exceptional woman in any era—her lifetime achievements were truly remarkable.

With a small bequest from her late grandfather and savings from her wages as a schoolteacher, Ellen and her brothers founded one of the country’s leading newspaper and publishing enterprises. Her business acumen, on which her brothers depended, was a tremendous benefit to the venture, and her daily column was one of the nation’s best-read features in more than 1,000 newspapers.

Ellen was an early and ardent supporter of women’s suffrage and a devoted philanthropist. Her generosity supported innumerable educational and scientific endeavors, including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Scripps Clinic, the San Diego Zoo, and Scripps College, her “crown jewel.” Her leading influence at The Claremont Colleges led to the purchase of land on which not only Scripps College flourished, but provided space to establish Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer Colleges. Her role in the launching of the Claremont group plan led to her feature on the cover of Time in 1926.

Ellen Browning Scripps characterized her involvement with Scripps College as her most important work in a rich lifetime of creating opportunities to widen human knowledge. Her words still deeply resonate today:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.”

Inscribed on Scripps College’s Honnold Gate

La Semeuse

The seal of Scripps College, designed by sculptor Lee Lawrie, depicts La Semeuse—she who sows. The image of the sower of “the good seed of thought, of action, of life” was chosen by the faculty in the 1927-28 academic year. They also selected the College motto, Incipit Vita Nova—”here beginneth the new life.” The esteemed Professor Hartley Burr Alexander was largely responsible for the seal’s image and the motto. Before he arrived on campus, he suggested Incipit Vita Nova, the first words of Dante’s New Life.

It seems to me that what college ought to do is begin a new life in a very real sense, and perhaps the motto would have a double significance for Scripps in indicating not only the new life begun for each student, but also the new life which we hope may be begun from a renewed vitality in education [evidenced in the founding of this college for women]. —Hartley Burr Alexander

Principles of Community

An understanding and appreciation of diverse peoples, cultures, and perspectives informs the intellectual framework on which our institutional mission is based and is critical to Scripps’ realization of its goal to become the premier liberal arts college in the country.

Scripps College is a community of scholars: faculty, students, and staff dedicated to the education of women and the advancement of learning.

To further this community, Scripps seeks to attract a diverse student body and to build a diverse faculty and staff. Our goal is to create a hospitable environment without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, color, beliefs, physical condition, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, or age. Scripps believes that each member of the community contributes to the learning and teaching of all and, therefore, seeks to balance individual freedoms with sensitivity to, and awareness of, the rights and human dignity of others. Scripps recognizes the obligation to respond to the acts and effects of discrimination and bigotry by building an academic community in which people learn to respect and value one another for their differences.

Scripps believes that learning and teaching thrive in an environment conducive to freedom of belief, inquiry, and speech, assuring expression of the broadest range of opinions and beliefs. Scripps commits itself to maintaining that freedom, subject only to regulation of time, place, and manner.

Recognizing that such expressions may offend, provoke, and disturb, Scripps affirms its dedication to encourage rather than limit expression. At the same time, Scripps encourages community members to show mutual respect and understanding and to employ reasoned civil discourse.

Scripps seeks to secure, through its academic and community policies and practices, through its actions and the services it provides to students, faculty, and staff, the widest appreciation for all groups and individuals; to combat discrimination and misunderstanding; and to forge a better and more just society.

Each member of the Scripps community affirms, by her or his continuing participation in College life, acceptance of her or his personal responsibility and obligation to the community in assuring that these principles are upheld in all aspects of our lives together.

Principles of Diversity

An understanding and appreciation of diverse peoples, cultures, and perspectives informs the intellectual framework on which our institutional mission is based and is critical to Scripps’ realization of its goal to become the premier liberal arts college in the country.  The College is committed to demonstrating that respect of differences among people is a prerequisite to achieving institutional excellence.

Through its policies and its actions, Scripps strives to create an environment in which acknowledging and engaging issues of race, ethnicity, religion, belief, opinion, economic class, age, gender, sexuality, and physical ableness are inextricably part of the experience of the campus community.


Vision Statement of Scripps College as a Multicultural Community