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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Expanding Our Community: Diversity at the University of Delaware

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When Francis Alison founded his New London Academy in the eighteenth century, higher education in North America was relegated almost exclusively to privileged white men. Nearly 270 years later, Rev. Alison would be astonished at the size and diversity of the University of Delaware’s campus community. From its small beginning with one instructor and 12 students, the University has grown to include over 4000 current faculty and staff serving a student body of more than 21,000 men and women on campuses throughout the state.

Today, students, faculty and staff at the University come from a wider variety of backgrounds than ever before. Racial diversity continues to increase throughout the campus. Students from around the nation and the globe study with students from Delaware. Women comprise a slight majority of undergraduate students and nearly 40 percent of the faculty. Numerous student organizations, religious groups, campus units and faculty and staff caucuses devoted to diverse interests demonstrate the wide variety of viewpoints, life experiences and belief systems that make Delaware a richer place.

Much has gone into the making of this current environment. No single exhibition can speak to all forms of diversity, but it is important to examine moments along the journey to greater inclusiveness.