Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $500,000 grant to grow faculty diversity at Oglethorpe University

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ATLANTA, GA (08/06/2018) Oglethorpe University has received a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a four-year effort to diversify faculty in the humanities. The grant will provide funding for the appointment of faculty members.

Oglethorpe previously received a three-year Mellon grant in 2014 to support "Explorations in the Core," an initiative to innovate its Core curriculum to better reflect the growing diversity of students.

"This important initiative will build on our last grant from the Mellon Foundation," said Provost Glenn Sharfman. "Currently, our student body is substantially more diverse than our faculty, and we know that curricular offerings will be further enriched with a greater breadth of experiences and points of view in the classroom."

Unlike many other residential liberal arts colleges, Oglethorpe has differentiated itself with its exceptional student diversity, as guided by its strategic plan and by capitalizing on an Atlanta location.

Of Oglethorpe's 1250 students, 38% are Caucasian, 24% African American, and 11% Hispanic, with the remainder self-identifying as multiracial or not identifying. Furthermore, approximately 38% are "first generation" students-the first in their family to attend college-and nearly 40% are eligible for Pell grants.

Conversely, 82% of Oglethorpe faculty are Caucasian, 6% are African American, 8% Asian, and 3% Hispanic.

"Our enrollment composition makes Oglethorpe atypical among liberal arts colleges-and drives the need to diversify our faculty," said Dr. Sharfman. "Our goal is for our faculty to better reflect our students. This grant will help us move toward that goal significantly."

About Oglethorpe University

Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is Atlanta's only co-educational small private college, home to 1250 eclectic and engaged students from 33 states and 38 countries.

Renowned for its groundbreaking Core program, Oglethorpe's academically rigorous programs emphasize intellectual curiosity, individual attention, close collaboration among faculty and students, and active learning in relevant field experiences. Oglethorpe joins theory and practice in its A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), an incubator for experiential learning through internships, study abroad, civic engagement, and undergraduate research.

Under the leadership of President Lawrence Schall since 2005, Oglethorpe has entered an unprecedented era of innovation and growth, evidenced by increased enrollment and philanthropic giving, and new strategic entrepreneurial partnerships. Since 2013, Oglethorpe has seen the addition of an award-winning campus center; a residential complex with six state-of-the-art classrooms; and the expansion of arts and athletics facilities. Oglethorpe's partnership venture with LeadAbroad has expanded its global footprint with the development of five global campuses in Barcelona, Cape Town, Greece, London, and Rome.

In 2019, Oglethorpe will open the I.W. 'Ike' Cousins Center for Science and Innovation and the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business.

Oglethorpe is home to the Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, study abroad partner LeadAbroad, and the Piedmont School of Atlanta. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association.