Skip to main content

September 2021

Santa Clara University Receives Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

The Excellence in Diversity Award, given to 101 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide, recognizes schools that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 29, 2021 – Santa Clara University received the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award, given to 101 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide, recognizes schools that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

“Those of us working at Santa Clara now join a long line of Broncos who have shown an unwavering dedication to building a diverse and inclusive community rooted in social justice and our common humanity,” said Shá Duncan Smith, SCU’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. “This recognition acknowledges the exhaustive work of our students, faculty, and staff who, in the face of adversity, chose to be a part of the systemic and structural change work at Santa Clara University. The HEED award highlights the SCU family’s collective progress to advance and deepen its commitment to becoming a just and equitable institution.” 

“In this increasingly diverse society, and the evolving justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion landscape we will never arrive,” acknowledged Smith “As the goal post keeps moving, we must continue to press forward.”

For more than a decade, the SCU family has undertaken bold initiatives to bring about a campus culture where students, faculty, and staff can thrive. Through ongoing programs such as Safe Space and UndocuAlly workshops, Community Conversations and Dialogue Circles Santa Clara offers regular opportunities for engagement and discussion. Inclusive hiring and recruitment practices further enrich inclusive excellence at SCU.

The Diversity and Advancing Racial Justice dashboards track SCU’s progress, maximize transparency, and serve as springboard for continued efforts to build programs and initiatives that promote intercultural, inclusive, and supportive environments.

INSIGHT into Diversity’s HEED Award measures each institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. 

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

As a recipient of the 2021 HEED Award, Santa Clara University will be featured, along with 100 other recipients, in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. 

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see 

Media Contacts

Deepa Arora | SCU Communications |

Press Release
Recent Headlines, core-about-scu