Old Westbury earns Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for second consecutive year

HEED Award logo

The State University of New York at Old Westbury has been named one of only 94 institutions of higher education across the nation to receive the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, marking the second year in a row the College has earned the distinctive, national honor.

Awarded by the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education, the HEED Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

"As it has been since our founding more than 50 years ago, SUNY Old Westbury's mission continues to include cultivating an inclusive campus environment that fosters diversity in culture, thought and deed,” said College President Calvin O. Butts, III. “This recognition highlights the importance of that ever-present goal as we build on our daily efforts to foster a diverse and dynamic community that reflects the world we live in."

Among only eight universities in New York State to receive the award, SUNY Old Westbury was lauded for its innovative diversity programming, and educational support. Since receiving the 2018 award, Old Westbury opened the Interfaith Center in its Student Union. With the goal of addressing the spiritual and religious needs of the campus community, the Center was designed for diverse student populations. The Center also provides opportunities for mindful meditation activities and hosts the Council of Interfaith Student Organizations that meets monthly with the Chief Diversity Officer to address religious and spiritual diversity efforts on campus.    

Additional support programs to be highlighted by the magazine include the College’s Leadership Development Certificate Program, its “Culture Cafes” and Lavender Graduation, and month-long dedicated programming such as “Latinx Heritage Month, Native American History Month and Black History Month.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.

SUNY Old Westbury will be featured with the other award recipients in the magazine’s November 2019 issue. For more information about the 2019 HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.