About the Division of Student Affairs

Know Every Student by Name and Story

The Division of Student Affairs strives to know each student by name and story. In doing so we are able to ensure that each student’s need is understood and met, that each student is honored for whom they are, and that each student has the space to create their own story.

Student affairs at Washington University is charged with providing guidance, support services and a variety of programs and activities intended to complement the academic pursuits of students and to promote their learning, development and success. Throughout the Division of Student Affairs, a student will encounter caring professionals who are trained and skilled in their own specialties, and are professional educators dedicated to assisting students in developing their full potential.

Scott JacobTo put it frankly, my experiences outside of the classroom have defined my college experience. I know that I am graduating prepared to meet the opportunities and challenges after graduation because of the experiences that student affairs provided to me as a student at WashU.”
– Scott Jacobs ’16

About the Division


  • 368 Staff Employees
  • 86 Graduate Student Employees
  • 1,001 Undergraduate Student Employees
  • 132 Resident Assistants (RAs)


  • 10 Residential Colleges, housing 3,300 students
  • 11 Fraternity Houses
  • 2 Suite-Style Residence Halls, housing 310 students
  • 31 University Apartments, housing 1,457 students
  • The William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth University Center
  • Habif Health and Wellness Center
  • College Hall
  • The Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center
  • The Athletics Complex consists of several facilities: the Field House, David R. Francis Field, David R. Francis Gymnasium, I.E. Millstone Pool, James Butler Bushyhead Track and the Tao Tennis Center.
  • The Boathouse (Crew)
  • Gateway National Golf Links
  • Kelly Field at Irv Utz Stadium

Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision

The Division of Student Affairs will be known for its active partnership with faculty, the academic divisions, students and community members in the creation of a fully integrated student educational experience. This fully integrated educational experience will enable students to identify and maximize the connections between their academic and co-curricular learning.

We will seek to have a particular focus on student attainment of our university motto “Strength through truth.”¹

Through supporting students’ active engagement in university courses, student-centered programs and activities on campus in the St Louis and global community, the Division of Student Affairs will lay a foundation such that Washington University graduates will:

  • Understand their values and strengths as a means of translating their academic, intellectual and individual passions into purposeful careers and lives.
  • Seek to be servant and compassionate leaders in their chosen profession and their volunteer activities.
  • Be civically engaged and committed to strengthening their communities.
  • Develop their skills of resiliency to be individuals capable of managing failure and success.
  • Embrace difference and open and honest dialogue about differences, even with others who do not agree with a particular viewpoint.
  • Be active and engaged alumni of the university.

Our division will be organizationally positioned, and optimize our deployment of our human, fiscal, physical, leadership and other resources toward the realization of this vision.

Our Mission

By fostering and engaging students in a holistic, inclusive and supportive educational environment, the Division of Student Affairs at Washington University facilitates and supports high impact learning ² and exceptional co-curricular experiences, to prepare students to successfully pursue their chosen vocation and profession; be compassionate and influential citizens of their local and the global community; and live lives of meaning and purpose.

Our Values


We endeavor to know each student by name and story. We are committed to the success of each and every student. In determining organizational priorities, we are focused on the impact of our work on students.


We have a commitment to honesty, transparency and high standards in our work and in our interactions with our colleagues, students and other partners.


We foster an environment in which all aspects of individual identities can thrive.


To enhance the effectiveness of our work and our ability to meet current and emerging student needs, we will regularly seek and apply new ideas, processes, services and technology, and think openly and creatively about ways to respond to issues, challenges and opportunities.


The success of our division depends upon having a talented, dedicated, and enthusiastic team of employees. We actively create an environment of coaching and support for professionals at all levels of our organization. We understand that our future work depends on the development of our team, and strive for our staff feeling both challenged and fulfilled in their work.


We encourage shared leadership in departmental and divisional decision-making. We believe our work and ability to serve students is enhanced when we (individuals and departments) work together toward a shared vision of student development, engagement and success.


[1] The university’s motto, which appears inside an open book in the middle of the university seal, is Per Veritatem Vis, “Strength through Truth”. The motto was adopted in 1915. See HISTORY AND TRADITIONS.
[2] The following have been identified as High-Impact Educational  practices: First-Year Seminars and Experiences; Common Intellectual Experiences; Learning Communities; Writing-Intensive Courses; Collaborative Assignments and Projects; Undergraduate Research; Diversity/Global Learning; Service Learning, Community Based Learning; Internships; Capstone Courses and Projects. See High-Impact Educational Practices.