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Latest fall census reveals increase in campus diversity

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Infographic by Amy Elliot-Meisel/ amy.elliot-meisel@marquette.edu

Infographic by Amy Elliot-Meisel/ amy.elliot-meisel@marquette.edu

Campus diversity is on the rise at Marquette, according to Marquette’s fall census for the class of 2018.

The freshmen class has a 27 percent non-white student population, up a percentage point from 26 percent last year, and up seven percent from the 2010 freshmen class according to Marquette’s Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. Additionally, 19 percent of enrolled freshmen are first-generation students.

“Marquette is actually a pretty diverse place,” said Jeff Lochowicz, senior assistant dean for the Admissions Office, in an email. “We have students of different backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, beliefs, ethnicities and experiences. We believe that this helps to enhance the educational experience at Marquette. We tend to think of diversity in only terms of ethnicity. Even by that measure, Marquette is very much on par with Madison, Lawrence, Beloit and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.”

In order to promote diversity, Marquette’s Admissions Office reaches out to a variety of prospective students in several different ways.

“In the spring we host special events for admitted students from various backgrounds,” Said Dan Hamrin, assistant dean for the Admissions Office and chair for admissions multicultural outreach group, in an email. “A few of these include Mi Casa es Tu Casa and All Aboard. We also host a leadership conference… targeted towards introducing students from various ethnicities to the concept of leadership within the framework of a Jesuit education. Beyond this, we work to connect admitted students with current students who may share a similar background or experience…through personal letters, social media and telephone campaigns.”

Besides hosting these events, Lochowicz said the hope of the Admissions Office “is that through targeted, effective recruiting we are able to attract enough qualified applicants who are the best students, from a variety of backgrounds, to whom we can say ‘yes’ in the admission process.”

While diversity increased by seven percent in five years, William Welburn, associate provost for diversity and inclusions, said he thinks more can be done.

“We have generally moved in a positive direction overall when it comes to attracting a more racially and ethnically diverse student body,” Welburn said. “Can we do better? Of course, and college and university administrators across the country will tell you the same about their respective institutions in light of the browning of the nation’s high school graduates. So we will do more to maintain our commitment.”

While the Admissions Office ultimately makes the final decision of who it admits, Welburn said he thinks that making Marquette a more diverse place falls on the entire community.

“It’s about what we as Marquette can do to work together to be a more inclusive university,” Welburn said. “This is an obligation shared across students, faculty and staff, and especially among administrators. If our message to prospective students is that we want Marquette to be more diverse, then we take steps to make sure that all who come here finds themselves and have a clear shot at reaching their aspirations.”

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