Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven has received a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to diversify faculty in the humanities. The money will be used to fund faculty member appointments.

Oglethorpe previously received a three-year Mellon grant in 2014 to support “Explorations in the Core,” an initiative to innovate its Core curriculum to better reflect the growing diversity of students, according to a press release.

“This important initiative will build on our last grant from the Mellon Foundation,” said Provost Glenn Sharfman in the release. “Currently, our student body is substantially more diverse than our faculty, and we know that curricular offerings will be further enriched with a greater breadth of experiences and points of view in the classroom.”

Of Oglethorpe’s 1,250 students, 38 percent are Caucasian, 24 percent African American, and 11 percent Hispanic, with the remainder self-identifying as multiracial or not identifying. Approximately 38 percent are “first generation” students, or the first in their family to attend college, and nearly 40 percent are eligible for Pell grants.

Conversely, 82 percent of Oglethorpe faculty are Caucasian, 6 percent are African American, 8 percent Asian, and 3 percent Hispanic.

“Our enrollment composition makes Oglethorpe atypical among liberal arts colleges-and drives the need to diversify our faculty,” Sharfman said in the release. “Our goal is for our faculty to better reflect our students. This grant will help us move toward that goal significantly.”

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