Marquette Wire

Class of 2021 boasts diversity increase

Class+of+2021+convocation.
Class of 2021 convocation.

Class of 2021 convocation.

Photo by Ian Schrank

Photo by Ian Schrank

Class of 2021 convocation.

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The class of 2021 is the most diverse class that Marquette has ever had, university President Michael Lovell said at a press conference Aug. 25.

Associate director of university communication Chris Jenkins echoed this statement, saying he is hopeful about the direction the university is moving in regards to admission and diversifying the student body.

“If I wanted to emphasize anything, it’s this: If you look back to our class demographics from the fall of 2014, right after Dr. Lovell became Marquette’s president, and compare them to the incoming class of 2021, it shows that our administration is making good progress on welcoming a more diverse group of students to Marquette,” Jenkins said.

Of the 2,039 incoming freshmen, there are 46 more students of color than last year’s freshman class, which is a two percent increase from the previous year. Of those 632 students of color, 95 are African-American, 327 are Hispanic, and five are Native American.

Including the new freshmen, the total student population is 12 percent Hispanic. Increasing the amount of Hispanic students has been a goal of the university, as they aim to reach 25 percent in the next ten years.  

According to the Marquette website, if this goal is reached, the institution will achieve the status of a Hispanic-Serving Institution and will be able to apply for Title V funds. 

Xavier Cole, vice president of student affairs, said the university has been taking intentional steps to attract Hispanic students.

“These new families appreciated the overnight orientation and experience. We had bilingual translators and special sessions for Spanish-speaking families,” said Cole.

Cole said the university will continue to move toward inclusion in the coming years.

“Marquette saying they want to be HSI is moving in the direction of where our country demographics are moving,” he said. “So as we naturally recruit students for Marquette, we naturally recruit more diversity over the next several years.”

In addition to an increase in Hispanic students, the class of 2021 saw an increase in first-generation students, who were honored by a round of applause at the New Student Convocation during orientation.

With the welcoming of new students from differing backgrounds comes the difficult task of ensuring everyone feels comfortable and welcome at Marquette.

“For me, in student affairs, we put out a challenge of how to better serve these new populations,” Cole said. “I recognize that I am an African-American male and I step through most doors and think they are all very wide. I am also the vice president and have a lot of privilege, and recognize that.”

Cole said he urges students to, “help others see how we can open that door… After all, At the core of Ignatian spirituality is hospitality.”

 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the total student population is 17 percent Hispanic. The accurate amount is 12 percent. The Wire regrets this error. 

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