Opening Convocation Livestream

Watch the 139th Opening of the College ceremony live. Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m.


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Our Mission



Cottey College, an independent liberal arts and sciences college, educates women to be contributing members of a global society through a challenging curriculum and a dynamic campus experience. In our diverse and supportive environment, women develop their potential for personal and professional lives of intellectual engagement and thoughtful action as learners, leaders, and citizens.


Cottey College will be a higher education institution of choice for women of diverse backgrounds who seek access to exceptional educational programs and will focus on three guiding threads: leadership, social responsibility, and global awareness. With care and respect for each student, we will empower women to enrich their lives, realize their full potential, and make valuable contributions to society. Cottey College will be a growing, vibrant, distinctive, and selective college for women, well known and respected for programs delivered in multiple and accessible formats, up-to-date facilities, and academic excellence.

  • Growth: Increase enrollment and expand programs
  • Innovation: Develop innovative and best practices
  • Visibility: Strengthen outreach
  • Engagement: Provide exceptional programs and opportunities
  • Resources: Enhance human, physical, and financial resources

Cottey College’s core values are grounded in tradition and history as set forth by founder Virginia Alice Cottey and supported by the ownership of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. These seven values clarify our identity, past, present, and future.

Educate Women to be knowledgeable and thinking members of a global society.

Promote Intellectual Growth through the study of science, culture, and society, and the development of strong practical skills, including communication, analysis, and problem-solving.

Cultivate Responsibility to encourage positive contributions from women through their personal and professional lives.

Respect Difference by creating a climate of openness and appreciation of a diversity of ideas, perspectives, cultures, experiences, and contributions that comprise a multi-cultural society.

Broaden Global Perspectives by immersing students in new cultures and experiences, and enhancing their understanding of the interconnectedness of our global economy and cultural practices.

Pursue Thoughtful Action by cultivating an atmosphere of inquiry, integrity, honesty and mutual respect.

Develop Women’s Leadership by providing opportunities to grow intellectually, socially, aesthetically, spiritually, and physically in order to realize individual potential.


A successful Cottey student…

  1. Recognizes the Roles of Women
    • A Cottey student demonstrates understanding of women’s past, current, and developing contributions.
  2. Enriches Knowledge
    • A Cottey student demonstrates understanding of ideas from a variety of academic disciplines.
  3. Thinks Critically
    • A Cottey student explores issues and solutions before forming conclusions or making reasoned decisions.
  4. Communicates Effectively
    • A Cottey student uses appropriate communicative means to contribute ideas and engage others to advance the work.
  5. Acts Responsibly
    • A Cottey student respects diversity, is attentive to cultural context, and demonstrates ethical reasoning and action.

The Honor Code of Cottey College defines and expresses the ethical spirit in which we, the members of the Cottey community, pursue the education of women. Recognizing that a community of learning cannot function well without respect for basic moral order, we also understand that the furthering of excellence requires still greater commitments. Thus, in addition to basic moral principles, we also affirm Virginia Alice Cottey’s emphasis on the development of excellent personal character, and the more specific ethical standards of the professional associations that oversee the conduct and quality of higher education. We, the members of the Cottey College community, commit ourselves to act with:

  1. Personal responsibility.
  2. Academic honesty and integrity of word.
  3. Moral respect for persons and their property.
  4. Ethical concern for the good of the College community and the broader society of humankind.

Embracing these ideals, we aim for the ongoing fulfillment of the mission of this college as a center of higher, humane learning.