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VCU Awarded Inaugural Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Insight into Diversity Magazine presents its first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

Virginia Commonwealth University received the first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine today for its exemplary initiatives on all aspects of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community. 

The national award honors U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. VCU will be featured along with 47 other recipients in the December 2012 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“Good things are happening at VCU to advance diversity of people, perspectives, cultures and experiences,” said Wanda Mitchell, Ed.D., founding vice president of diversity and equity at VCU. “VCU as an urban learning community seeks to foster cooperative and critical thinking needed to address social, medical, environmental and economic issues that face society.

“Demonstrating our commitment to inclusive excellence will strengthen and enrich the citizens of Virginia as well as our nation,” Mitchell said.

VCU’s student body is very diverse, composed of around 40 percent of underrepresented populations. The university houses a Division of Diversity and Equity, and has a five-year diversity plan in place, which highlights VCU’s mission to provide a fertile environment in which ideas and skills can be cultivated for a future and world that respects natural diversity.

VCU was recently recognized by The Education Trust as one of the nation’s top colleges and universities for boosting graduation rates and closing the graduation rate gap for both black and Hispanic students.It also was recently named a recipient of the 2012 Minority Access Role Models Award by Minority Access Inc. for its commitment to recruit, retain and advance students and employees from a diverse applicant pool. VCU is one of only 27 institutions nationally to achieve the designation.

“We hope the award serves as a reminder that diversity and inclusion must remain priorities in the 21st century higher education landscape,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “Every college and university should recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as being part of their everyday life on campus.”