Class of 2025: a look at Marquette’s most diverse class

Class+of+2025%3A+a+look+at+Marquettes+most+diverse+class

Photo by Sarah Kuhns

The class of 2025 is the most diverse class in Marquette’s history.

“With respect to the class, diversity is strong. In fact, it’s the strongest and the greatest amount of diversity in the class that at least any records that we can tell. It’s good to see those efforts of diversity continuing to pay off,” Provost Ah Yun, executive vice president of academic affairs, said.

During the Academic Senate meeting on October 18, Ah Yun discussed the diversity of the class of 2025.

It officially consists of 1653 undergraduate students.  In terms of demographics, Ah Yun said “34% come from a diverse background, 18% identify as Hispanic and 6% identify as Black.”

Ah Yun also said that 22% of the graduate and professional students identify as students of color, which is the highest rate since 2005.

Lizzy Ibitoye, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said that she has seen more people of color on campus compared to her first and second years, but has not seen an increase in people of color in her classes.

“For the most part there are less than ten Black people in my big science lectures, and in my smaller classes, I tend to be the only Black person or one of two or three Black people,” Ibitoye said.

Ibitoye said that a lack of diversity causes her to feel like the odd one out a lot of time, so increased diversity is always welcome. She said she that she hopes universities aren’t increasing diversity to fill a quota, but to see people of color succeed.

“It is hard to gauge whether not only Marquette but also universities across the nation genuinely want to see people of color, and in particular Black people, succeed academically and professionally,” Ibitoye said.

Donte McFadden is the senior associate director for undergraduate research in high-impact practices and the director of the McNair Scholars Program, which is a part of the Educational Opportunity Program. McFadden is also a programmer of the Black Lens Film Series.

This program is committed to preparing first-generation, low-income students from historically marginalized populations for higher education.

McFadden said that it was also created to attract more students of color to Marquette.

As diversity continues to increase, it is important to create an inclusive environment, and one way to a more inclusive environment is diversity amongst the faculty, McFadden said. McFadden said while Marquette is seeking ways to recruit students, it should also do so with faculty.

“Make sure that you have a diverse faculty as well. They can have undergraduate students work on their projects and then they could also receive adequate funding to make sure their research continues. But in addition to diversifying the faculty, you help diversify the curriculum and I think,” McFadden said.

McFadden said if students feel like they are contributing to Marquette and feel a sense of belonging, then they will encourage other students of their identity to attend.

“As the student body demographics change, How do you create an environment that is more inclusive? How do you create an environment that validates people experiences that? How do make that students have experiences you know that make them feel as if they belong in MU?” McFadden said.

McFadden said one of the ways to develop this inclusive environment is to connect students to the Milwaukee area through Marquette alumni and Milwaukee professionals from different sectors.

Jillian Haygood, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said that she has noticed more people of color on campus this year.

“I think that more diversity reminds me that I am not on my journey of education alone but seeing other African American people on campus encourages me to know that there are other students like myself who deserve to be here,” Haygood said. “It makes it hard, going to a predominantly white college and even harder when most of my professors are white. It doesn’t show that education can and should be multifaceted and diverse.”

McFadden said that although Marquette is making effort to increase diversity on campus, there is still work to be done.

“Having the most diverse class, the Class of 2025, as much as that should be celebrated, you have to realistically recognize that that’s a starting point,” McFadden said.

This story was written by Hannah Hernandez. She can be reached at hannah.hernandez@marquette.edu.