Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of Oglethorpe University’s academic mission and commitment to excellence. Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision which bans the use of race-conscious admission practices in higher education is disappointing, but I am writing to assert that the decision will not change how Oglethorpe supports current and prospective students in fully expressing themselves and speaking about their identities.
Oglethorpe has and will continue to take a holistic approach to reviewing applications for admission. We will continue to consider students’ academic backgrounds and broad range of life experiences in granting admission. As a result of this practice to date, we have recruited a widely diverse student body made up of 58% students of color and 40% first generation college students. This diversity reflects the world that our graduates will step into as economic and civic leaders when they graduate. The Supreme Court ruling does not hamper our efforts to celebrate, highlight, and support the full diversity of our campus community, the city of Atlanta and the Southeast.
We will continue to act with empathy and urgency to ensure that all students are supported in the ways they need. We remain committed to educational opportunity as the pathway for students to thrive as engaged and global citizens, and we believe in the educational benefits of diverse learning environments for all members of our community. We will build on the programs and offices established in recent years aimed at helping students feel connected and successfully navigate our diverse campus community. I am grateful to Dr. Laura Renée Chandler, our Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Marisol Zacarias, Director of our Intercultural Center, for leading the efforts here on campus. Their work, combined with our Global Education and the First-Generation Student Support offices, makes Oglethorpe an inviting institution where students from diverse backgrounds can thrive. I look forward to the First-Generation Student Conference to be hosted on our campus this fall.
Thank you to everyone who brings their whole self to our mission. We see you and value your contribution as faculty, staff, students, and supporters.