CWU News

CWU Again Honored for Diversity

For the fourth time in five years, Central Washington University has earned the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The award recognizes higher education institutions that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Central was one of only three schools in the state of Washington to earn the recognition this year.

“We’re so honored to once again be recognized for our efforts to make Central Washington University the most welcoming, diverse, and inclusive university in the state of Washington,” said Delores Cleary, CWU’s vice president for inclusivity and diversity. “Winning this award for the fourth time in five years is unprecedented and is a clear indication of Central’s long term commitment to being an inclusive campus welcome to all.”

Currently, students of color comprise nearly 33 percent of CWU’s student body, with enrollment of Hispanic students at nearly 15 percent. About 94 percent of CWU students are Washington residents; nearly 70 percent hail from western Washington, with a third from King County alone.

CWU President James L. Gaudino said it was particularly gratifying to receive the award again because it recognizes Central’s ongoing efforts to be a diverse institution that recruits and retains students from all backgrounds and walks of life.

“We all learn from each other and it is only through having a campus environment that reflects our entire society, and embraces diversity and inclusiveness, that we become stronger as an institution and as a people,” he added.

The award to 95 colleges and universities in the nation, measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach, student recruitment, retention and completion efforts, and hiring practices.

“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, which oversees the awards.

“Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished each day across their campus,” she added.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the nation’s oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. CWU will be featured in the St. Louis-based publication’s November 2018 issue. Current and archived issues of the publication are available online at

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,