Syracuse University is deeply committed to fostering and supporting an inclusive, accessible campus of opportunity for a richly diverse student body. In fact, access and opportunity for talented students from all walks of life have been hallmarks of the Syracuse tradition since the University first opened its doors in 1870 to all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or culture. In recent years we have recruited an undergraduate student body that is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind. Students come from all 50 states and 123 countries. Approximately 30 percent of our undergraduates are students of color, and 21 percent of our first-year students are first-generation college students.
Syracuse’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is rooted in the belief that an education informed by multiple points of view, life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems is essential to academic excellence. Amid a diversity of voices and viewpoints, students learn to question assumptions based on their realm of experience and arrive at a better understanding of themselves and others. The capacity to listen to and learn from a range of voices and viewpoints benefits all students—and the world they are preparing to enter.
As part of this commitment to sustain an inclusive campus community, the University has launched various initiatives addressing the wide spectrum of difference represented in our student body, including ethnicity, military backgrounds, cultural traditions, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Among the many campus offices and programs supporting these diverse groups are the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services office, the Center for Disability Resources, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the LGBT Resource Center.
The University also is home to a number of precedent-setting programs, institutes, and community partnerships that have grown out of its legacy of support for and advocacy on behalf of veterans, persons with disabilities, and Native Americans, among others. They include the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the Burton Blatt Institute, the Gebbie Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, the Democratizing Knowledge Collective and the Skä•noñh: Great Law of Peace Center.
Syracuse has produced many trailblazing alumni, including Sarah Loguen Fraser, the first woman to earn an M.D. from Syracuse University School of Medicine in 1876; Colonel Eileen Collins ’78, the first female pilot and first female commander of the Space Shuttle; literacy advocate Ruth Johnson Colvin ’59; Ernie Davis ’62, the first African-American football player to win the Heisman Trophy; runner and women’s sports advocate Kathrine Switzer ’68, G’72; and educator and political advocate Donna Shalala G’70.
Syracuse University will continue building on these and other efforts to promote access and inclusion across a wide range of difference; advance cultural competence among faculty, staff, and students; and ensure a safe and respectful campus community for all.