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Alma College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
614 W. Superior St.
Alma, Michigan 48801
Phone
(800) 321-2562
Email address
admissions@alma.edu
School Information
"Alma College came into existence in 1886 through the efforts of the Presbyterian Synod of Michigan. Meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, members resolved to establish a church-affiliated college that ultimately gave birth to Alma College. In those early years of existence, for lack of a better name, Alma was known as the “Fighting Presbyterians” or the “Maroon and Cream.” As time went on it was decided that “Go Presbyterians” was not the easiest cheer. In 1931 a challenge was issued to the student body to come up with a new name. Herb Estes ’34 won $5 for coming up with the winning entry, “The Scots.” Because the Presbyterian Church was originally founded in Scotland, the name seemed fitting. Since that time, Alma College has embraced its Scottish traditions" (Source: https://www.alma.edu/live/news/2228-our-scottish-connection-a-short-history). The college offers over 50 academic programs. The undergraduate enrollment is over 1,400 and the student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1.
General Information
Alma College has contributed towards its goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion through anti-racist programming. The college recently welcomed Ibram X. Kendi, author of "How to Be an Anti-Racist," as a keynote speaker. The college has sought to update its statement on diversity and inclusion in response to the death of George Floyd. Alma College will also focus more on its goals of diversity and inclusion through offering various scholarships, grants, and related funding. Furthermore, Alma College offers programming such as "Diversity Dialogues" to involve students in conversations of oppression and social justice. This institution utilizes CRT concepts in its curriculum and, in addition, the college does offer bias training to organizations and departments but it does not mandate such training of all students. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Alma College hosts Education Workshops which provide "training to student organizations and college offices/departments/units on a range of topics including unconscious bias, microaggressions, privilege, intersectionality, social identities, and advocacy."
  • Alma College hosts "Diversity Dialogues" which "allow participants to engage in critical dialogue about topics such as intersecting social identities, privilege, oppression, and social justice."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
Program and Research Funding
  • Alma College has the Revels Roe Travel Scholarship which will "provide funding to minority students who are attending Alma College from great distances."
  • Alma College offers a grant for diversity events and programming.
  • Alma College hosts the Campbell Scholars Program and the King-Chávez-Parks Mentor Program in conjunction. These programs are available to students of color or students "interested in advocating for the advancement of students of color" and provide such students with resources and mentorship. In addition, Alma College launched the Julius Chatman Living Learning Community "to support first-year students of color."
Resources
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers numerous resources for anti-racist and inclusive teaching at Alma College.
Symbolic Actions
  • Alma College celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day through a series of events called, "MLK DAY, Your Way: Listen, Remember, Serve, Act." Students had no classes for the day and were encouraged to participate in programming such as a social justice chapel service, a DEI workshop, dialogues on anti-racism, an evening vigil, and a poetry reading "revolving around the themes of activism, resistance, oppression, liberation, revolution, and justice."
  • Social Justice was the theme of the 2020 Presidential Speaker Series. The primary speaker of this series was Ibram X. Kendi, author of "How to Be an Anti-Racist." The college stated that, "Creating a more just society is the focus of Alma College’s Presidential Speaker Series, with a wide variety of lecturers focused on topics of social justice, equity, faith, sustainability and more."
  • The Vice President for Student Affairs, Damon Brown, was named the Chief Diversity Officer in April 2021 in order to "ensure that we are making key decisions with an eye to their impact on diversity and inclusion.”
  • Alma College has a goal to "create a culture committed to inclusive excellence."
  • In response to the death of George Floyd, the president released a statement of solidarity saying, "Like so many across the nation and around the world, I am angered and saddened by the wrongful deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor." The president indicated that the college's statement on diversity and inclusion will be updated. Additionally, the president will "work with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board to discuss the specific actions we will take in the next year to further develop the diversity and inclusion goals of the strategic plan."
  • The college's Evergreen Strategic Plan states that, "The college must become a more diverse, inclusive, and just community than we are today. By engaging in challenging conversations, educating ourselves and those around us, making space for diverse viewpoints, and holding each other accountable for actions, we will work to ensure that all in our community feel welcome."
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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