Westminster Makes Diversity a Priority, Focusing on Access and Awareness

Expect the Great attendees posing with President Steve Morgan

Oct 30, 2017

During the month of October, Westminster welcomed hundreds of students, families and community members for several events focused on college readiness and accessibility for underrepresented populations. Expect the Great, a college and career readiness event focused on African, African-American and Black students, was held on October 28. The college is also hosting the national "I Am Psyched!" exhibit honoring the contributions of women in color in psychology from October 23–November 3.

In addition to the campus events, Westminster recently announced a new scholarship available to African-American, African and Black students applying to Westminster who are interested in leadership roles and community engagement. These occurrences arrive on the cusp of the private institution adopting its first diversity statement and commitment to an inclusive Westminster.

"This is an exciting time for Westminster College," said Marco Barker, associate vice president and chief diversity officer at Westminster. "The statement was a necessary step, but our campus community continuously finds opportunities to bring awareness to critical issues, welcome and engage diverse communities and create access points for students — whether it's through funding like our Griffin Grant or programs like Expect the Great. We understand that fostering a more inclusive community at Westminster is more than having a statement — it's putting our words into actions and efforts."

Below is a list of a few of the recently announced diversity initiatives in October.

Expect the Great (October 28)

Expect the Great is an annual event held at a different Utah campus each year since 2011. The 2017 host campus was Westminster College, and Karnell McConnell-Black, Westminster's dean of students, delivered the keynote address.

The event featured colleges and universities from across the state. Students and their families participate in workshops on preparing for college, paying for college, navigating college and career coaching.

This year, participating institutions included: Westminster College, Utah State University, Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College and Southern Utah University, as well as school district representatives from Granite, Salt Lake and Davis County.

Rev. France A. Davis created Expect the Great during his tenure with the Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents (2008–17). His goal was to develop an outreach event for increasing college access, participation, retention and graduation of Utah's African, African-American and Black students.

Expect the Great is one effort to contribute to Utah Governor Gary Herbert's goal under his Education Excellence Commission for at least 66 percent of Utah's adults between the ages of 20 and 64 to hold a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. For more information on the event, visit www.expectthegreatutah.com/.

I Am Psyched! exhibit (October 23–November 3)

Mamie Phipps Clark, Hortensio Amaro, Reiko True—these are just a few of the women of color who have positively impacted the field of psychology. Their stories and others are featured in "I Am Psyched!," a national exhibit created by the American Psychological Association on the contributions of women of color to psychology.

During the event, Westminster held an opening reception, welcomed students from around Salt Lake City for after-school visits and held a panel discussion with psychologists who are women of color. Several courses at Westminster have integrated the exhibit into their curricula, and Westminster students have served as docents. For more information on "I Am Psyched!" click here.

Barbara Tanner Scholarship

The Barbara Tanner Scholarship recognizes four remarkable Black, African and/or African-American students with an annual award of $15,000, to be used towards tuition and room-and-board fees. Applicants must exhibit excellent leadership ability and be actively involved in their school and/or community organizations. For more information visit https://www.westminstercollege.edu/undergraduate/tuition-and-aid/first-year-scholarships.

Griffin Grant

Westminster is committed to making college affordable and offers Griffin Grants to students whose families make less than $100K a year (based on adjusted gross income). With guaranteed scholarships and grants, students will receive nearly $24,000 in aid per year for four years. For more information, visit: www.westminstercollege.edu/undergraduate/tuition-and-aid/griffin-grant.

For more information on Westminster's diversity and inclusion initiatives, click here.