Diversity Celebration

The term Diverse is being redefined as we speak to one of Diversity and Inclusion. And Webster is taking a leading role in what that looks like – and what it means – here at the home campus in Webster Groves and at every location around the world. So what does the new term “diversity and inclusion: mean? Sure. It means ethnicity, gender, age – but it also speaks to a person’s economic status, abilities, religion, education level and country of origin.

Our almost 22,000 students are naturally diverse. Webster takes great pride in expanding access to higher education – because having access to a higher education not only means improving one’s self…it means improving the lives of entire families and communities. Our new campus in Africa, Webster University Ghana, will open in January. For the first time, Webster has a presence in this important region of the world. This provides our students with the opportunity to live and learn in diverse populations. They appreciate and respect differences and similarities as they gain a deeper understanding of their own and others’ values.

So what attracts a diverse student body? Diverse academic programs; quality colleges and schools taught by distinguished faculty; creative options to study abroad in which we offer every qualifying student with a travel scholarship so that they can explore the world as their classroom, too. Corporate Partner cohort programs and partners such as the Department of Defense.

Webster does not seek recognition for recognition’s sake – we are recognized because we do the right things well.

[show video about Olivia Perez] It was such a great honor earlier this year to recognize Olivia and her family. Please stand and be recognized.

We take great pride in the number of students who are awarded Pell grants – because it means that we work to include students, not exclude them based on economics. Among the top 25 in our Regional Midwest category, Webster ranked first with 51% of undergraduate students at our Webster Groves campus receiving Pell Grants in 2011-2012. The magazine further recognized Webster among schools which, and I quote, “truly seek a broad, engaged student body.” Federal data puts the country’s six-year undergraduate graduation rate at around 37 percent, compared to Webster at more than 60 percent — better than the majority of its Midwestern and Missouri peer group competitor institutions.

[introduce Dr. Schuster]

Thank you, Julian. As you can see, we are passionate about building sustainable, diverse, and inclusive populations – whether that’s within Webster University, on any of our campus locations, or in any of the vibrant communities we serve. In closing, I’d like to ask all of our partners to stand; let us thank each and every one of you for your partnership in building strong communities. Now please join us and continue this dialog as we together celebrate our partners and Webster University…as one community. 

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