Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Change begins at home, and at this unique moment in history, Marist will do its part to bring about transformative change to our College community. We look forward to continuing to report to you on the initiatives we’re undertaking to make Marist a place where everyone feels welcome, valued, and heard.

We believe it is important to establish a baseline from which we can improve. It’s equally important to share the areas in which we’ve made good progress. Please view our available data below, and as we gain more insight and data, we look forward to communicating details to the community to aid in our collective goals. 


Over the past 10 years, the College’s Admission team has expanded recruiting efforts to high schools with more diverse populations. Consequently, applications from students of color have risen from 18.6% to 35.4%. The College has made similar strides with faculty and staff. 


Marist is #1 among the US News North Top 30 Private Colleges, surpassing the closest institution by a considerable margin with 20.5% of the faculty being People of Color. In 2010 13.2% of the faculty were People of Color, and that percentage has jumped to 21.5% in a 2019 statistic. 

Student Body & Leadership

The students who enter our academic buildings are driven and strive to have a lasting impact on our campus. Our Student Government Association has had six Presidents who are people of color, representing the student body to the College’s Board of Trustees. The Resident Assistants who impact students' daily lives are 44% students of color. Orientation leaders familiarize new students with the campus and position them to get the most out of their education are 31% students of color. The executive board of the Emerging Leaders Program is made up of 60% students of color with a singular goal of preparing the next generation of leaders.  

Common Read

Marist’s Freshman Common Read has often focused on race in the United States. With four of the last seven common reads focusing on racism, the College has sought to educate students about race issues in the United States. 

Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at Marist, has been instrumental in ensuring that students in economically and educationally disadvantaged areas receive a high-quality education from well-respected institutions. Marist, along with 24 other institutions, has been a leading school in HEOP since its inception in 1969. Since the start of the program, Marist is proud to have graduated nearly 500 students, including 2016, 2017, and 2019 graduates who have been awarded the highly prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, as well as a Gates Millennium Scholar award.

Continue and Expand Commitment to the Local Community

Marist is committed to continuing and expanding our support for inner-city populations in our region, paying particular attention to Poughkeepsie.  Because of our location, Marist feels a special obligation to engage with the Poughkeepsie community and support initiatives that serve its residents and promote the city’s development.  The College has been a longtime supporter of the Catharine Street Community Center, Family Services, and many other community organizations.  Most recently, the College has become part of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, which is a City of Poughkeepsie initiative to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations, and other local stakeholders to improve collaboration and coordination of youth supports and services.  We are also very proud of the excellent work done in the community by our Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Center for Social Justice Research, and Department of Spiritual Life and Service. 

These community efforts are in addition to Marist’s continued commitment to the Liberty Partnerships Program and the Newburgh Early College High School Program, all of which focus on the educational needs of inner-city youth.  While Poughkeepsie is our primary focus, we are proud to be part of efforts to help students in Kingston and Newburgh as well. 

Marist wants to be a good neighbor and going forward, we will review our contracting and purchasing practices to ensure that local businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans are well represented.  In addition, we will encourage more faculty and staff to live in the City of Poughkeepsie and explore ways to incentivize their residency there.