Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access

Clemson receives two prestigious excellence in diversity awards


INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education, awarded Clemson University its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award and its Diversity Champion award.

The HEED award is open to all North American colleges and universities and measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment regarding broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

2020 marks the third consecutive year Clemson has won the Diversity Champion award and the fourth consecutive year the University has won the HEED award.

“We are pleased to once again be named award recipients and for the recognition among our University peers,” said Chief Inclusion Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Inclusive Excellence Lee Gill. “We recognize that while there remains much work to do, building an inclusive university environment is a journey. What better way to stay engaged in that journey than to be recognized for important milestones along the path to excellence. It’s gratifying to know Clemson’s groundbreaking initiatives were recognized as best practices: Call Me Mister, Peer & Wise, Corporate Chief Diversity Advisory Board, Emerging Scholars, Tiger Alliance and the President’s Leadership Institute to name a few.”

The HEED Award is the only national award honoring individual institutions for being outstanding examples of colleges, universities, or health profession schools committed to making diversity and inclusion a top priority across their campuses.

Diversity Champions are selected from the top tier of HEED award winners. According to INSIGHT into Diversity’s website, they “exemplify an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.”

A limited number of colleges and universities across the nation are selected for this honor. Last year Clemson was one of only 16 universities in the country to receive it.

The official description of the award states: “Diversity Champions are institutions that set the standard for thousands of other campus communities striving for diversity and inclusion. They develop successful strategies and programs, which then serve as models of excellence for other institutions. Diversity Champion schools exceed everyday expectations, often eclipsing their own goals.”

Applications are comprehensive, covering all aspects of campus diversity and inclusion. One of the goals of the application process is to help institutions assess their diversity efforts to build on their success and improve where necessary.

“While there is so much more that we need to accomplish, we realize that ours is a journey not a destination,” said Gill. “We have faculty, staff and students on every corner of campus that everyday are working to make Clemson a more inclusive and equitable place.”