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Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Signature Programs

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion leverages inclusive excellence, access, and social justice through the implementation of the following Signature Programs.

  • Diversity Initiatives Planned/Launched August 2013-June 2015
  • University-wide Cultural Celebrations Advisory Committee
  • Day of Dialogue
  • Diversity Fellows Certificate Program
  • Diversity Research Institute
  • Faculty Fellows Program


 Inclusive Excellence Series

This series focuses on innovative strategies that increase degree completion for under-represented students. As well as recruitment and retention of under-represented faculty and staff.

Hats Off to Women Luncheon

The WKU Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion recognizes outstanding women whose work, life, and commitment have helped make a difference in our community. Honorees serve as leaders and role models to other women, students, colleagues and/or the community. Award recipients are honored at the annual Hats Off to Women luncheon held in March during Women's History Month.

Award Categories

The Hats Off to Women awards recognize women in the following categories:

  • Community Member
  • WKU Students
  • WKU Administrator
  • WKU Faculty
  • WKU Professional Staff
  • WKU Support Staff

Award Criteria

Nominees in each category meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Gives back to the community through her time, talent and/or resources
  • Has been a role model, mentor and/or advocate for positive social change
  • Has garnered respect within the community
  • Is dedicated to helping women and girls achieve their goals through support, empowerment and/or inspiration
  • Exhibits qualities of leadership, integrity and dedication
  • Reinforces attitudes and/or actions that are intended to produce equitable outcomes for all
  • Demonstrates excellence in her contributions to students, colleagues, and/or her institution (in such areas as service, innovative programs, teaching, research, etc.)

Outstanding Black Graduate Recognition Ceremony

OBG Student
Courtney Morrow was selected as an Outstanding Black Graduate for the Class of 2013. She is first African-American female student to graduate with a degree in physics from WKU.

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion sponsors the Outstanding Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony each semester. The Outstanding Black Graduates program began on the campus of Western Kentucky University in May of 1998. Since then, this program has grown and flourished into an eagerly anticipated event by the University, families, friends, and in particular, the graduates. It honors African American students who have successfully completed all requirements for graduation and it also seeks to empower students to continue successful ventures while remembering the contributions of Western Kentucky University to their success. It is a gathering of family, friends, and the university family to celebrate the accomplishment of each of the students. The program is filled with music, high spirits, inspiration, and excitement. During the program, each student is presented with a Kente stole, which symbolizes the richness of their heritage and their accomplishments. All graduating Seniors are invited and encouraged to participate.

How To Participate

Because we have to place orders with companies outside of WKU, it is important that you meet the listed deadlines.  If you miss a deadline, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a stole or be fully included in the program.

STEP 1 - Complete Application for O.B.G.

STEP 2 - Make Registration Payment & Take Personal Photo.

Registration Fee: Participating students are required to pay a $25 dollar registration fee, and participants in OBG will recieve a Special GIft, a Kente Stole, a Gift for your Parents/Spouse, and a Commemorative Book! Payments must be made at the Office of Diversity Programs, which is located on the 4th floor of Potter Hall, room 425.

Personal Photo: This is a head shot photo that will be taken at The Office of Diversity Programs when you turn in your Registration Fee. The picture will be taken in Cap & Gown (which will be provided at the office). This picture will be featured with the participants statement in the commemorative book.

STEP 3 - Submit Personal Statement for the Commemorative Book!

Personal Statement: This is your time to express your thanks & appreciation to family & friends.  400 words or less. If your statement is over 400 words the OIDI staff will edit it to accommodate our printing needs.  Email your statement to:

Please contact the OIDI for any questions.

Project C.L.A.S.S.

Project C.L.A.S.S. (Creating Leaders and Shaping Sisters) is a year long mentoring program designed to aid first year female students of color in various aspects of collegiate development. The program focuses on helping young women achieve success in six identified areas: academic excellence, health & well-being, leadership development, professionalism, vision/legacy building, and personal development (identity formation). The incentive that drives their engagement in the program is a $1000 scholarship. This prize is awarded to the individual who demonstrates the most significant development during the course of the program.

View photos from Project C.L.A.S.S.

O.I.D.I Scholars

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (O.I.D.I.) Scholars Program aka O.I.D.I. Scholars Program is a voluntary mentoring program for first-year male students of color.  The pilot program has a capacity for a minimum of 15 participants and a maximum for 25 participants. The O.I.D.I. Scholars Program meets every first and third Tuesday beginning in September and ending in April.  The program meets for 2 hours (6pm-8pm) during each session. In addition to 2 times per month sessions, the participants will host a community service project which increases awareness of violence against women.

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 Last Modified 11/11/15