At Hamilton, we embrace diversity, commit to work against systemic racism and bigotry, and support a community where all individuals, without exception, feel valued, empowered, and treated fairly. But while undergoing a renewed movement for racial justice and equity alongside a public health crisis, the Hamilton community has not been exempted from the experiences of bias and exclusion of underrepresented individuals, including those who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and across different gender identities. The work of achieving an inclusive, equitable community is of paramount importance, and Hamilton is continually striving to make further progress through positive action, change, and growth. Our commitment and work to create a truly equitable and inclusive community continues.
Work in Progress:
Hamilton’s most recent entering class was selected from a record-high applicant pool (9,380), resulting in the lowest admit rate on record (14.1%), and is the most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse class on record (40% U.S. students of color or international citizens, 22% Pell Grant recipients, and 18% first generation to college). Hamilton’s overall enrollment is roughly 2,000 students, hailing from 49 states and 46 countries, with 33% identifying as U.S. students of color or international citizens.
During the 2021-22 academic year, we honored the first decade of the Days-Massolo Center’s role as a hub on campus for programming that explores intersections among gender, race, culture, religion, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic class, and other facets of human difference.
In June 2021, President Wippman announced a search for a Chief Diversity Officer, a new position that will report directly to the president and serve as a member of the senior staff. This search is ongoing with help from Isaacson Miller, a national executive search firm specializing in higher education.
On March 30, 2021, the College responded to each of the Advisory Council’s proposals for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Hamilton, with specific individuals assigned to take the lead on implementation. The College committed to measuring and tracking progress on the College’s DEI website.
On March 15, 2021, the Advisory Council shared its final proposals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College (draft proposals were shared with the campus on Jan. 25, 2021). The proposals stem from a review of current initiatives, goals, data, and progress from the past decade; conversations with underrepresented populations; and input and recommendations from a consultant hired to conduct listening sessions and provide an independent perspective.
In an Aug. 4, 2020, message to the Hamilton community, Advisory Council co-chairs Amari Leigh ’21 and Josie Collier ’97 P’14, announced Be Heard, a call for all members of the Hamilton community to share ideas, feedback, and stories with the council.
In June 2020, President Wippman launched a new Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to explore how the College could stand in greater solidarity with Black and other historically marginalized community members.
On June 14, 2020, President David Wippman committed to:
- Hosting listening sessions with community members
- Forming an Advisory Council
- Expediting a new equity and inclusion plan
- Increasing resources, including:
- $200,000 per year for the next five years to boost funding to the College’s equity and inclusion initiatives
- $139,486 raised during a fiscal year-end campaign from alumni to support Hamilton’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programming in the wake of national protests against racial injustice
In 2019, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the College’s need-blind admission policy, where prospective students are evaluated solely on their accomplishments and potential, not their financial circumstances. However, we must look to the future and expand our commitment to inclusion.
U.S. students of color and international students have increased from 16.5 percent and 5.3 percent of the student body, respectively, in 2008-09, to 27 percent and 6 percent — a total of nearly 33 percent of the student body — in 2021-22. Students hail from 49 states and 46 countries.
Hamilton faculty members who identify as people of color represented 23.6% of the faculty in 2020-2021, up from 18.8% a decade earlier. Since 2013, every department hiring a faculty member has appointed a trained “diversity advocate” to its search committee.
The percentage of women on Hamilton's faculty has grown over the past 10 years, from 39.4% in 2010 to 50.3% in 2021.
Since 2020, diversity representation among voting members of Hamilton's Board of Trustees has increased from 10% to 19% (includes 1 Latinx, 4 Asian American, 2 Black, and 1 LGBTQIA members). Women comprise one third of the board's voting members.
Work Completed Since 2018:
- Made financial aid a cornerstone of the Because Hamilton fundraising campaign in order to increase student scholarship endowment and sustain need-blind admission promise
- Removed barriers in the admission application process for all, with a particular focus on low-income students (i.e., remove application fee for first-generation to college students, allow students to self-report standardized testing, reduce application requirements)
- The Admission Office increased active engagement (outreach, travel, bringing to campus, and communication) with Community-Based Organizations (doubled number visited since 2017 and more than 700 active CBOs on communications list)
- Partnered with College Horizons (program dedicated exclusively to support Native American/Indigenous students applying to college) to expand access and representation in our applicant pool
- Implemented new financial literacy tool iGrad for enrolled students
- Increased ease of submission for Student Emergency Aid Society (SEAS) requests with online form added to site in fall 2019
- Adjusted application process to support students applying during pandemic, including waiving required standardized testing
- Hired 16 new tenure-track faculty since 2018; 10 (62.5%) are women and eight (50%) are people of color (Overall, the tenure-line faculty is now 23% diverse and 47.2% women.)
- Increased training for staff, students, and faculty members to guard against implicit bias (in interviewing, programming, teaching, and daily interactions)
- Welcomed Paola Lopéz Fincannon, who joined the Hamilton community as director of the Days-Massolo Center in 2019
- Welcomed Maria Genao-Homs as associate dean of students for diversity, equity, and inclusion in 2018
- Piloted an initiative in the Levitt Center to train student facilitators to develop skills in deep listening and engaging in deliberative conversations so that we may become a Sustained Dialogue institution
- Held a major exhibition at the Wellin Museum featuring the works of internationally recognized Ethiopian artist Elias Sime
- Fully implemented a new requirement offered across the curriculum designed to help students gain “an understanding of structural and institutional hierarchies based on one or more of the social categories of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, age, and abilities/disabilities”
- Hosted virtual programs in the wake of the pandemic, including a QSU Trans Day of Visibility, Cafecito Fridays, and a “How To” series that offered information on how to access various COVID-19 resources
- Assigned all students a Career Center counselor to ensure that everyone has equal access to the center’s programs and resources, not just those who already have a network of connections
- Established an alumni Equity & Inclusion Committee, with members representing the Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee, Women’s Leadership, and Spectrum (LGBTQ+), to inform strategic planning of the Alumni Council
- Developed the Joan Hinde Stewart Career Development Program to provide four-year career development support to a select group of students with significant financial need
- Diversified alumni panelists/speakers in regional and virtual events and programs
- Streamlined accommodation requests for students and enhanced our technical capabilities to support accommodations
- Developed a LITS task force and website that incorporates the ongoing training and efforts in Library, Information and Technology Services
- Created a cross-divisional team to review and enhance how preferred names are processed in our various data systems and platforms. Gmail and Colleague systems were completed in 2020
Building an inclusive community is a work in progress. We need your help to keep the conversation moving, ideas flowing, and action continuing. Click below to share your thoughts with Maria Genao-Homs, associate dean of diversity and inclusion.