Diversity at Western

Western is proud of the fact that it is increasingly becoming a school of choice for students of color.  Over the past 35 years students of color have discovered that Western is an excellent place to experience higher education, and by doing so have enriched the Western experience for all students.

Going back to 1980 just 388 students of color were enrolled at Western out of 10,616 students (3.7%).  The fall 2014 student body was comprised of 3,547 students from ethnic minority groups, in a total student body that numbered 15,060 (23.6%), due both to new enrollment and improved retention.  A total of 28.5% of new freshman and 21.5% of new transfers self-reported their racial or ethnic identity as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander.

The face of Western is changing and we celebrate our changing diversity. 


  • Undergraduate StudentsStudents Stephanie Gallardo and Francisco Ivarra, wear two stoles representing their involvement and contribution to Western's Ethnic Student Center and MEChA organization while walking hand-in-hand during at commencement.
  • StaffTed Pratt, Dean of Students, works closely with the Associated Students Board of Directors at the beinning of the year to help in development of a strategic plan.
  • FacultyJoanne DeMark, Leadership Development Specialist, cofacilitates a workshop on building community during a student conference.
  • Employees and Student StaffWestern's Student Admissions Representatives (StARs), a diverse group of student staff members in the Office of Admissions, help serve prospective students and lead campus tours for students and their families.
  • AlumniWWU alumni Jim and Jane Higginson ('67 Woodring College of Education) and Bob and Marilyn Monahan were among the volunteers for the annual Compass 2 Campus Tour.
Undergraduate Students1 Staff2 Faculty3 Academics4 Employees and Student Staff5

Engaging in Leadership

Western offers a variety of different opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to engage in leadership on and off campus.
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Finding Community

Taking into consideration the various backgrounds of which our campus is made up, Western fosters an environment in which every student, staff, or faculty member can find and build community.
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Our Focus

Western continues to prepare students for an increasingly complex and diverse society. Driving innovation, perseverance, and success, our family of active thinkers and leaders engage in exciting opportunities to develop and shape academic and multicultural identities.

Commitment to Inclusion

From Admissions to our seven academic colleges to the Alumni Office, valuing diversity excellence, equity, and inclusion are central to Western Washington University’s mission.  Western provides an atmosphere where students, faculty, and staff interact and engage in effective and courageous conversations, modeling a process of social development through civil discourse.

Page Updated 12.02.2014