By Dennis Brown
The University of Notre Dame will soon create a campus center devoted to current and new diversity and inclusion programs, resources and initiatives for students.
The new Center for Diversity and Inclusion will be located in remodeled space on the second floor of the LaFortune Student Center and serve as a hub for students utilizing resources in Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the Office of Student Enrichmentand the Gender Relations Center, three departments within the Division of Student Affairs.
“Our goal is to ensure that all of our students experience a true sense of inclusion and belonging at Notre Dame,” University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “The creation of a visible and inviting place at the heart of our campus where students can gather, discuss issues that are important to them and access resources that enhance their Notre Dame experience represents an important step forward.”
The professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has generously contributed a $1 million gift that will help underwrite programmatic elements for the center, with the intention to raise $9 million in additional funding over a five-year period.
“PwC has long been purpose-led and values-driven,” said Rod Adams, U.S. and Mexico talent acquisition and onboarding leader at PwC. “Creating a culture of belonging and demonstrating inclusive leadership is at the forefront of our strategy and is a critical element to developing today and tomorrow’s leaders.”
“The new Center for Diversity and Inclusion will deeply enrich our campus life and quicken the University’s efforts toward a truly more vibrant and inclusive community,” Vice President for Student Affairs Rev. Gerard Olinger, C.S.C., said. “It is our hope that the center will echo and heighten the values of the University’s Catholic, Holy Cross character by affirming the profound dignity of every human being and celebrating the richness of our community through a variety of services, programs and initiatives that embrace the many dimensions of diversity on our campus and in our world.”
The University also plans to use data on the impact of the center to identify leading practices to share with other universities seeking to improve their diversity and inclusion educational programming.
Notre Dame’s student body has become more diverse over the past two decades, more than doubling from 1,232 students of underrepresented races or ethnicities in 1998 to more than 3,000 today.
A top employer of Notre Dame graduates, PwC is a global network of firms in 155 countries with more than 284,000 employees, providing professional services across two segments: Trust Solutions and Consulting Solutions. In 2017, the firm co-founded and launched CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which today includes some 2,000 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and more than 90 university presidents, including Father Jenkins.