I. Respect for Persons, About | Earlham College
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I. Respect for Persons

It is a foundational Quaker belief that all persons have available to them an inner spirit of Truth, often known as the "Inner Light" or "God's Voice Within."

From this belief follows an assumption of equality of all persons and grounds for respecting all persons. We aspire to be a community whose members act with regard for the intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being of everyone. We seek to find mutual respect, trust, and happiness in our relationships with persons of every race, ethnicity, class, religious preference, gender identity, physical ability, sexual orientation, or age, even seeking to respect persons removed by time and place.

Practicing Respect for Persons

We strive to be respectful of others in our daily interactions. A small but meaningful mark of our attempt to meet one another as equals is our practice of addressing one another by first names rather than by titles and honorifics.

In all of our activities, we seek to affirm and reinforce mutual respect, responsibility, and caring. In all interpersonal relationships we seek to be helpful, trustworthy, and considerate. As a community, we reject all coercive and destructive behavior in interpersonal relationships.


  • Do I examine myself for evidence of prejudice, and then work to overcome it?
  • Am I careful of the reputation and feelings of others by avoiding gossip and checking the truthfulness of rumors?
  • When I express my disagreement, do I do so explicitly and respectfully?
  • Do I contribute to creating a trusting community that fosters the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual good of everyone?
  • Am I physically and emotionally responsible in all my sexual and other interpersonal relationships?
  • Do I find loving and considerate ways to encourage others to engage with Earlham's principles?

“Principles and Practices, and specifically the idea of respect for others, revolves around kindness and reaching out to members of the community.

“Earlham is a place where I know I can ask for help without thinking twice about it. There is always someone looking out for my well-being.”

Finn Olcott
Class of 2012

Thomas _lyn“I have learned that as we encounter others, we may not remember their name or details about our conversation or hundreds of other aspects of the exchange but we most often remember how the other made us feel.

“Respect is memorable and of great value.”

Lyn Thomas
Administrative Assistant to the President
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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.