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Carroll Hall in the summer.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

McDaniel College was the first coeducational college south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and one of the first coeducational colleges in the nation. We strive to continue this tradition of social justice by committing ourselves to being a diverse and inclusive community. We are guided by our First Principles, which compel us to place students at the center of a humane environment and demand that we respect others and share responsibility for the common good.

Information for Small, Minority, and Women Owned Businesses

Strategic Focus Areas

The mission of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is to provide visible leadership and direction for the College’s efforts on behalf of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, to promote diversity awareness and understanding within the larger campus community, to foster community and advocate for changes so that students and employees feel they belong, be a resource to students, faculty and staff in their efforts on behalf of diversity and inclusion, and advocate on behalf of minoritized communities.


Summer Research 2022

McDaniel College Strategic Plan 2022 - 2027 Reaching New Heights Integration of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

“Reaching New Heights: McDaniel College Strategic Plan 2022-2027” shapes McDaniel’s future by guiding the direction, priorities, and investments for the college. By concentrating on values of inclusivity, authenticity, a focus on the individual, lifelong learning, equity, and generosity, the plan further positions McDaniel as an innovative liberal arts college focused on student achievement and professional success. 

A key part of the discussions in the development of the strategic plan was about the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). Rather than setting just one specific initiative or goal addressing DEIJ, the plan was evaluated through the lens of DEIJ at each phase, with DEIJ integrated throughout. Each of the four initiatives have DEIJ-related goals and objectives.

An Inclusive Admissions Process

We realize that to ensure a truly diverse and inclusive campus, we must evaluate the point of entry to the college. Our admissions process is designed to identify and eliminate implicit bias and provide all applicants with a fair review. In addition to comprehensive training for admissions staff, we regularly review our admission policies and practices with the goal of increasing access. As part of these efforts, McDaniel has committed to:

  • A comprehensive and holistic review of every applicant that includes review of not just GPA but high school curriculum, out-of-class experiences and responsibilities (this includes traditional co-curricular experiences like student leadership and athletics as well as non-academic or co-curricular responsibilities such as work or taking care of a family member), letters of support and personal circumstances as revealed through essays.
  • A need-blind admissions process, where a family's wealth is not considered when an application is reviewed. At McDaniel, family income has no bearing on acceptance.
  • The elimination of an application fee.
  • A test-optional admissions policy, which allows students to determine if they would like to submit their test scores.
  • Utilizing applicant's Preferred Name on salutations in communications from the admissions office.

Additionally, McDaniel College admissions staff works hard to cultivate meaningful relationships with school counselors so that counselors feel comfortable advocating for students throughout the admissions process.

students walk on campus in the Fall

LGBTQ+ Support Chosen Name Policy & All-Gender Restrooms Inclusive Excellence

McDaniel College recognizes how important it is to have the ability to be addressed by the name that an individual prefers. Accordingly, procedures for preferred name policy are set and are intended to provide guidance to help individuals navigate college systems and make adjustments where needed. Though some offices must utilize a students legal name (Financial Aid, for example), every effort is made to respect our student's chosen name.

Additionally, McDaniel College provides more than a dozen all-gender restrooms across campus. We believe that the removal of gender designation from restrooms is a meaningful step forward in our commitment to inclusive excellence.

Interfaith Service

Coming Together Interfaith Events

Interfaith Celebration & Service : The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts several interfaith events each semester in hopes to include all those of diverse religious, spiritual and ethical beliefs.  

The Interfaith Celebration: this is a semesterly celebration hosted by the ODEI in collaboration with the cultural and religious student organizations with the goal of deepening individuals understanding of other’s faith and value.  

The Interfaith Service: The ODEI and the Associate Provost for Equity and Belonging host one Interfaith Service a year to foster a sense of community and belonging. This year, the Interfaith Service will take place on Parent’s Weekend.  

Interfaith Community Dinners:  The ODEI hosts several semesterly community dinners for all employees to bring together McDaniel staff and faculty and provide a space for discussions.  

McDaniel College's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Approved by the Board of Trustees, August 2020
We are a community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts, and as such, we welcome the contributions of divergent perspectives and experiences that strengthen the educational experience. Our community is fully committed to breaking down the walls of division, rejecting acts of exclusion, and challenging injustice, prejudice, and ethnocentrism. We seek to promote the presence and expressions of all groups, including those historically and/or currently marginalized. We recognize that the list is evolving and that creating opportunities for dialogue and mechanisms for actions will create an inclusive, open, and accessible community. Action and accountability lead to creating a better world through social change locally and globally. We strive to cultivate the skills needed to become competent, productive leaders and allies in a pluralistic and diverse world.
In this spirit, we will actively attract, recruit, and retain diverse students, faculty, and staff by dedicating ourselves to
  • Confronting issues of privilege and marginalization by asking challenging questions and developing solutions to ensure that underrepresented groups have equal access and opportunities;
  • Increasing resources, spaces, and opportunities where all perspectives are valued;
  • Incorporating diversity as a core of our curriculum and programming;
  • Devoting resources to establish, maintain, and formally assess institutional policies and practices to ensure that we are meeting our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals;
  • Exemplifying inclusivity in its various forms including actively partnering with our surrounding communities;
  • Ensuring that all community members, including those with seen and unseen differences, have access to all aspects of the McDaniel experience;
  • Visibly addressing instances of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ableism, audism, ageism, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination;
  • Committing to preparing students and community members for the world in which they will live and work beyond college.

Black Lives Matter Resolved by the Board of Trustees, May 2021

Be it resolved by the Board of Trustees of McDaniel College that Black lives matter, that our College fully supports equity for and the inclusion of Black lives, and that on campus and in campus publications, our College must support and promote Black Lives Matter as a phrase as part of our anti-racist mission and our First Principles.

Headshot of Felicia Ellzy

Meet the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Felicia Ellzy, M.Ed.

Felicia Ellzy brings her passion for supporting students into her role as director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at McDaniel. “I was born to educate and love,” she says. She holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Her professional career includes experience as a family counselor, a director of curriculum and instruction, and an educator in Pennsylvania.

What’s your background? Where were you before you came to McDaniel?

I am an educator at heart. Throughout the entirety of my professional career, I’ve served students, staff, and stakeholders while working with diverse populations to cultivate welcoming and productive environments. On McDaniel’s campus, as the director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I utilize those knowledge-based practices to further help the students navigate their collegiate careers.

Why did you choose McDaniel as a place to work? What inspired you most to become part of the Hill?

I chose McDaniel because of the values of the institution as well as the intimate atmosphere. Dr. Richard Smith, associate provost for equity and belonging, is among the reasons I joined McDaniel; he provides a safe and welcoming environment for his colleagues to express creativity and strength.

What do you hope students take away from their time at McDaniel?

I hope all McDaniel students become active citizens and lifelong learners. I hope students reflect on McDaniel and see it as their home away from home. Alumni should view McDaniel as a place they are eager to visit and share all the time, talent, and treasure they’ve gathered along their journey.