Boston University prides itself on a history of inclusion, admitting students regardless of race, creed, or gender since our founding in 1839. That legacy includes awarding the first PhD to a woman at a US university, producing the first Black psychiatrist in the United States, being the first to admit female students to a US medical school, bestowing a doctoral degree in theology on Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59), and graduating the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (CAS’11). Beyond the student body, the University has hired a wide range of influential faculty over the decades, from historian and political activist Howard Zinn to Nobel Laureate and human rights champion Elie Wiesel (Hon.’74). Today, our students, scholars, faculty, and staff, represent more than 140 countries and all 50 states, reflecting an exciting range of worldviews and life experiences.
But there is work still to do.
The cultural, ethnic, religious, ability, sexual orientation, and gender diversity of our campus community is critical to the excellence of our research and academic programs, our social vibrancy, and our mission of preparing students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. So we’re redoubling our efforts to embody our founding principles and fulfill the promise of our legacy. We’ve committed to attracting, supporting, and promoting a wide variety of voices and backgrounds at BU, including, but not limited to, those who live with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities, are first in their families to attend college, are members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and individuals who are historically underrepresented in the academy.
In fact, the University has made prioritizing diversity, inclusion, and access one of the five main pillars in the upcoming iteration of its Strategic Plan.
While we recognize this work as an evolution, our goal remains steadfast: to fortify the University as a place where everyone can participate and thrive, while harnessing intellectual innovation and interconnection. We seek to both amplify and wield that collective power to ensure that everything a BU community member brings to the table gets included, nurtured, ignited, and let loose to better serve our world.