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Mission, Values and Vision

Secular since its founding in 1851, Buffalo Seminary provides a setting in which mutual respect is a fundamental principle around which students learn to value people from diverse backgrounds and to accept others on their merits. Having developed this appreciation and awareness, they are better equipped as adults to help forge connections across diverse communities; a necessity for the world they will inherit.


Buffalo Seminary prepares a diverse group of young women to be engaged scholars and citizens, proud to shape society rather than be controlled by it, and ready to live and lead with honor, courage, and confidence. 

What We Value at SEM:

These values are the core beliefs at SEM that shape our community, inform our decisions, and guide our actions.

  • Women as Scholars and Leaders: We cultivate the intellect and independence of women, supporting them as life-long scholars and leaders.
  • Community of Belonging: We are a community of belonging. We embrace the richness of diversity in people and ideas and strive for an equitable experience for all.
  • Integrity of Character: We expect honor, compassion, and honesty in our words and actions.
  • Health and Resilience: We nurture the wellness of ourselves and our community, knowing it is essential to learning and growth.
  • Global Perspective: We know that whether in school, in Buffalo, or in the world we must engage as empathetic and informed citizens.



  • SEM is reimagining when, where, and how learning happens.
  • Our vision is to design personal, challenging, and transformational experiences that serve all of our community, at every age and stage.
  • Why is this our vision? We know that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and that pathways to learning will continue to expand.


Honor Code:

Our Social and Academic Honor Code reflects the school's moral atmosphere with its expectation of trust, integrity, and respect. Character development is implicit at SEM.

At SEM, we encourage our young women to develop strong convictions and to stand alone, if necessary, for what they believe is right. These are the women of the twenty-first century; it is the school's intention to prepare them as they take their place as citizens and leaders in this exciting, challenging time.