Education and Human Resources

Universities accept national award for 'excellence in diversity'

November 29, 2013
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Grand Rapids-based Davenport University, founded in 1866, serves about 13,000 students at 11 branches in Michigan. Photo via

Two West Michigan universities are demonstrating an award-winning commitment to diversity.

The Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award, granted by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, recognized Davenport University and Western Michigan University among its winners this year.

This year’s 56 HEED recipients were chosen based on their “ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on their campuses, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community,” according to INSIGHT.

“We hope the HEED Award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, INSIGHT publisher.

Diversity on campus

This is the second diversity award WMU has garnered this fall. Minority Access Inc. also honored the school with a diversity award at its annual conference.

“We’re delighted that the university has received this award,” said Martha Warfield, WMU's vice president for diversity and inclusion. “The HEED award recognizes the accomplishments we have made thus far to establish an institutional culture that supports diversity and multiculturalism, by fostering an environment where diversity in all of its forms is investigated, explained, practiced, celebrated, affirmed and vigorously pursued.”

Davenport University is "extremely honored" to receive the HEED Award "again this year,” said Rhae-Ann Booker, executive director for diversity, equity and inclusion at Davenport.

“We work hard to ensure Davenport University is a community where similarities and differences are respected and celebrated and multiple perspectives and diversity of thought are embraced,” Booker said.

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