The motto of Scripps College is Incipit Vita Nova, Here Begins New Life, and nothing could be closer to the truth. From their first academic day (usually spent listening to a required interdisciplinary Core I lecture) to their last (spent finishing the required senior thesis), students are challenged to grow intellectually and personally by faculty and fellow students alike.
The fact that Scripps is a women’s college makes this growth all the more meaningful. From convocation onwards, students are not just encouraged to make a splash in the world— they are expected to, no matter what their field of study. While many students admit to a clear sense of self-determination, most find the all-female environment to be collaborative rather than competitive.
Situated thirty-five miles east of Los Angeles, the lush campus of Scripps opens up like a hidden oasis as soon as one steps through the western-facing Honnold Gate, welcoming entrants with a quote from Scripps College founder Ellen Browning Scripps: “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.” This driving mission ensures that Scripps women graduate with the ability to think, live, and succeed in an everchanging world.
At its heart, Scripps is a residential college with ninety-six percent of students choosing to live on campus. The original four residence halls, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, are each unique with tile-roofed Mediterranean architecture, fountains, and sprawling patios perfect for enjoying the California sun. With the exception of a few rainy days, students take advantage of the weather, studying and even taking naps outside on the large expanse of grass in front of the residence halls. When not in class, students can be found participating in one or more of the fifty clubs and organizations on campus (including the newly formed Equestrian Club and a student investment fund), chilling out at the student-run Motley coffee house, or lounging by the outdoor pool.
Scripps is also one of the founding members of the Claremont Colleges Group Plan, the initial vision of creating a group of independent colleges that share key resources. Today, the Claremont Consortium includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutes. Claremont Consortium resources include the Honnold/Mudd library (housing over two million volumes) and the newly constructed Student Health Services building. Students are welcome to eat at any of the dining halls and are free to enroll in courses in any of the five undergraduate colleges.
The consortium approach gives each college its own unique social and academic flavor, but it also allows for students to meet people with vastly different experiences and views. Weekend socializing frequently crosses campus boundaries with parties and events advertised across the five undergraduate colleges.
Scripps is a college where an independent and open-minded woman can thrive. She is sure to be challenged each and every day, and any obstacles she encounters are sure to make her grow into a stronger person. Students are constantly stretched to the full breadth of their ability and then urged to share what they know with others. Learning here is never over and is expected to continue long after a student dons her mint green graduation gown. The campus is a community built on sharing ideas and expanding the scope of knowledge in every field. Students are never cornered into choosing only a single interest but are encouraged to explore every area of intrigue and connect them in their thinking. The staff and faculty also push students to take these interests outside of the Scripps walls by studying in another country or conducting research in the surrounding community. The learning process is only limited by what a student is willing to take on during her four short years here.
Best of all, the women of Scripps are able to engage in this high-level thinking within a lush and elegant campus. The residence halls are built to encourage community and the sharing of resources, and it is a daily occurrence to hear students carrying on a conversation about the Core I film The Battle of Algiers, or any other interdisciplinary subject, from lunch until dinner. Of course, Scripps women also know how to relax from time to time and are skilled at finding the perfect spots across Southern California from Mt. Baldy to the Pacific Ocean. The women who graduate from Scripps enrich the world with their critical thinking skills and ability to communicate clearly and confidently. No matter where they may go in life, Scripps women pursue their dreams with a drive to make a difference.