Mission


Founded alongside the academic and professional communities of Yale University and New Haven, the Elm Institute is an intellectual and cultural venture dedicated to examining and cultivating the ideas, values, and practices that define and sustain flourishing societies. Our work explores questions of deep human concern that cut across the boundaries of academic disciplines, with a particular focus on the place of liberal education in contemporary society and the relationship between ethics and economic life. Throughout the year, we provide a range of programming for Yale students and New Haven professionals, while our summer seminars attract students and scholars from around the world.

The name of the Elm Institute honors the rich history of our home, the City of New Haven, which acquired the nickname “the Elm City” after it became the site of the first public tree planting program in the United States. Through projects like these citizens sought to beautify the city and make a lasting contribution to the quality of civic life. Our name reminds us of their efforts and encourages us to pursue our inquiries with both a sense of history and an eye toward the common good.