For nearly 140 years, the story of Dana Hall School has been a story of leadership, innovation, and impact. We are, and always have been, an institution with a distinctive mission and a powerful sense of purpose. This mission has inspired generations of Dana educators to devise and deliver bold academic programs, to appreciate the unique possibilities and pressures facing girls and young women inside and outside the classroom, and to attract students from across the world. We prepare students for the challenges and choices they will face as women and citizens of the world, and we help create the confident, compassionate, intellectually curious young women the world so desperately needs.
This strategic plan, which charts our story through 2025, aims to enrich and extend the Dana Difference‑to look with fresh eyes and open minds at our academic offerings and distinctive approach to teaching and learning, our diverse and global community of students and families, the experience of residential life, the ever‑evolving places and spaces of our campus, and the resources required to deliver on our vision and ensure that a Dana education remains within reach for students from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible.
Vision 2025 is meant to be both aspirational and actionable. Our aim is to create a vivid description of the future, and to identify what is required, institutionally and financially, to make that future a reality. To that end, this plan sets out a set of projects, programs, and initiatives organized around the five core themes that we believe will shape the Dana Hall of 2025.
Dana Hall embarks on its next chapter from a position of unparalleled strength and possibility. Our finances have never been stronger, our students have never been more accomplished, our mission has never been more relevant. At the same time, many of our key constituencies (from families and alumnae to colleges and universities) are asking more of us than ever, and the economic and social landscape of independent education is changing faster than ever. It is easy to be excited about all that Dana Hall is poised to achieve through 2025, yet hard not to be struck by the complexities and pressures facing all independent schools, especially those of access and affordability.
So we bring to this plan what the legendary Stanford educator John Gardner called “tough-minded optimism”—an unblinking recognition of the challenges that the School, our students, and their families navigate every day, and an abiding faith in our capacity to deliver on a truly distinctive vision of what we can and should become. Vision 2025 reflects our deep belief in the timeless mission of Dana Hall, and our commitment to a set of timely innovations that will shape an even more compelling future for the School.
We hope you share our enthusiasm for enriching and extending the Dana Difference, and that you will make a difference in the future of this vital institution.
Dana Hall has always been committed to academic rigor. Going forward, we will also embrace a commitment to academic vigor—cultivating a spirit of intellectual curiosity, energy, and curricular dynamism, rethinking how students, teachers, and coaches spend time in the classroom, on the courts and playing fields, on the stage and in the studio.
The true promise of Dana Hall is rooted in the diversity of its students, families, alumnae, teachers, administrators, and staff. That promise materializes when differences in lived experience serve to unite us around a shared sense of purpose, voice, and belonging.
Dana’s long history as a boarding school that draws students from across the United States and around the world, as well as a day school that attracts students from in and around Boston, creates a student experience few institutions can rival. Our identity as a day‑and‑boarding school with global reach and local roots is what makes Dana Hall so unique, so special, so vibrant.
Dana Hall has been breaking new ground (literally) for decades, adding buildings and renovating existing structures so as to maintain and renew our formidable campus. Our aim is to renew the built environment to embody the Dana Difference, and to do so in ways that are creative, flexible, and financially prudent.
The scope and breadth of Dana Hall’s student body, faculty, staff, and campus is our greatest strength. It also creates an unusual degree of complexity for budgets, capital spending, and ongoing operations. We will continue to refine the School’s business model in order to keep us on a sustainable course, and respond to the broader financial challenges facing all independent schools.
A strategic plan is only as powerful as the sense of engagement it inspires and the innovations it unleashes. We hope every member of the Dana community, past and present, will work in some way, large or small, to help make the strategy a reality. We will need everyone’s ideas, suggestions, talents, and financial support. Now more than ever, Dana Hall needs your support, because now more than ever, the world needs the confident, compassionate, intellectually curious young women that Dana Hall helps to create.
That said, the release of Vision 2025 is merely the first step in our journey. A group of 41 members of the Dana community worked to create this strategy. We hope every member of the Dana community, past and present, will work in some way, large or small, to help make the strategy a reality. We will need everyone’s ideas, suggestions, talents, and financial support.
We pledge to provide regular updates as, together, we turn the aspirations outlined in Vision 2025 into concrete actions that enrich and extend the Dana Difference. Now more than ever, Dana Hall needs your support, because now more than ever, the world needs the confident, compassionate, intellectually curious young women that Dana Hall helps to create.