Equity and Opportunity Begin at Home

Duquesne's Spiritan founders believed in welcoming all and excluding none. Today, diversity remains at the forefront of our core values.

Our Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion helps by providing support services and opportunities for learning. We coordinate community-wide events and programs to celebrate, acknowledge campus leaders and raise awareness about critical issues.

You can rely on the support and guidance you'll receive at our Center. We're proud to be invested in your success, and we'll walk alongside you as you reach for your biggest goals.

Pre-Orientation Program

Meet the Directors

Programs and Services

Our Center works side by side with the University community to address systemic challenges. When you participate in our events and programs, you'll become more open to the lives and journeys of others – and more determined to create a future everyone can share in.

Scholarships: In keeping with Duquesne's Spiritan heritage, we seek to increase endowed funds for need-based financial aid and scholarships. Our founders and sponsors were determined that the benefits of a Duquesne education should be available to all, regardless of ability to pay. Endowed scholarships ensure that Duquesne can attract and retain talented and motivated students for generations to come

Unrestricted Funds: Unrestricted gifts allow the director the flexibility to direct resources to the Center's most critical needs and respond to unexpected opportunities. Many gifts to the Center are designated for a specific purpose, making these discretionary funds even more valuable.

Cross-Cultural Program Endowment: As society becomes increasingly pluralistic, all students need to develop the knowledge and skills to successfully work with people of different backgrounds. The Center offers a wide range of co-curricular educational programs that not only improve the diversity climate on campus, but also prepare students to become leaders in personal and professional settings. These initiatives may include targeted efforts (such as financial literacy programs for at-risk students or anti-racist interventions dealing with specific situations) as well broad-based workshops and speakers open to all students that provide insights into cultural issues. Endowment funds are needed to ensure the continuation and expansion of these cross-cultural programs.

Multicultural Student Advisory Council: While the Center bears primary responsibility for cross-cultural initiatives, it also seeks to respond to student needs and promote campus-wide awareness and dialogue. The Center has assembled a panel of student leaders to help guide its efforts. Currently, this body operates only in an advisory capacity, but in the future, the Center seeks dedicated funding that the Council, in turn, could allocate to other student organizations that wish to offer multicultural programs furthering the Center's goals.

Peer Educators: This program would create a corps of diversity ambassadors. Similar to resident assistants, these student leaders would receive intensive certification training in promoting diversity and addressing multicultural issues across campus. Funding is needed to support both training and stipends for selected students during academic terms.

Travel Funds: Students' educational experiences and leadership skills are enhanced by attendance at regional and national professional conferences. Funds are needed to defray students' costs of travel to and participation in these valuable networking opportunities.

Book Scholarships: The increasing expense of required textbooks is a real barrier to many students seeking to begin or continue their studies. The Center's book scholarships would assist needy students in addressing this vital academic need.

Multicultural Resource Library: The Center seeks to build, maintain and house a collection of books, audio and video resources addressing diversity issues both on campus and in the larger society. These materials would provide opportunities for students to enhance their understanding and implement principles demonstrated in other activities.

Naming of the Department: A substantial endowment gift commitment to name the Center would provide continuing funds for many of the initiatives described herein, while serving as a perpetual living testament to the donor's generosity, compassion and vision.

Endowed Graduate Fellowship: Would provide funding for a graduate assistant to help the director implement new and existing programs and work directly with students.

Facilities Improvements: Operational funds are sought to renovate, maintain and decorate the Center's offices and upgrade the technology available for student and staff use.

Held every November, the Annual Turkey Drive brings together members of the Duquesne University community and over 20 community partners to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in and around the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Since its inception, the drive has provided over 2,200 meals to those in need.
Held in the Fall semester, the Diversity Day of Awareness seeks to convey the importance of diversity. Hosted by the Multicultural Programming Council (MPC) the event joins together faculty members, staff members, senior administration and external community partners.
A four-part series held in the fall semester, the Student Development Series seeks to stimulate the development of our student leaders through a variety of relevant topics and issues. Topics include: Success In The New Generation, Networking, Business & Personal Etiquette for Success and Defining Your Purpose.
Each year, the Annual Alumni Gala is held. This event convenes and introduces our wonderful minority alumni, graduating seniors and university community members to each other while also promoting awareness about the university's actions for Diversity and Inclusion.

Our cultural and ethnic student organizations are critical and valued entities. Your backgrounds, voices and actions serve as the core for our University's ability to remain open to diversity in all its forms.

  • Art Club
  • Asian Student Association (ASA)
  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • Caribbean Student Association (CSA)
  • Collegiate 100 (C100)
  • Duquesne South Asian Student Association (SASA)
  • Duquesne Student Chapter: NAACP
  • Ebony Women: Women for Social Change
  • Filipino American Student Association of Duquesne (FASA)
  • Gender Sexuality Alliance (Lambda)
  • International Students Organization (ISO)
  • Jewish Student Organization
  • Latin American Student Association (LASA)
  • Multicultural STEM Group (MSG)
  • Muslim Student Association (MSA)
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
  • Saudi Student Organization
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM (SACNAS)
  • Union of African Students (UAS)

In October 2014, the Greater Pittsburgh Higher Education Diversity Consortium (GPHEDC) was formed to better assist and develop a robust investment on the critical issues impacting diversity and inclusion in higher education throughout the Pittsburgh region.  

Housed in the Office of Diversity Inclusion at Duquesne University, the consortium is focused on sharing best practices, resources, and promoting activities that cultivate professional development, leadership development and student success at a variety of higher education institutions. 

Duquesne University is among the current GPHEDC member institutions.

Mission Statement

The Greater Pittsburgh Higher Education Diversity Consortium (GPHEDC) is dedicated to guiding and facilitating transformative change to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in support of academic excellence and educational opportunities at colleges and universities in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Hosted by the Center, the Spirit of Diversity Celebration honors University students and partners who are committed to academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. The event gathers over 300 people in attendance annually and provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students and members of the Pittsburgh community to hear from some of the nation's leading thinkers on multicultural issues. Previous speakers have included Hill Harper, Swin Cash, Saleem Ghubril, Cynthia L. James, Charlie Batch, Dr. Jen Fry and Mayor Ed Gainey.

Students and Alumni Talk About the Center's Impact

Elisha Schoeneck

“The Center creates a safe space for students who come from diverse backgrounds. They have been a great support system for me on campus, as well as a place to go for fun events and to connect with other students.”

Elisha Schoeneck ‘25 Physical Therapy major
Jakobie Green

“I’ve evolved as a student leader thanks to the Center showing me different examples of what leadership looks like. It’s a place I can call my second home.”

Jakobie Green ‘25 Finance major
Lindsey Harris

“I’m beyond grateful to the Center. They opened many doors for me and gave me a lot of support.”

Lindsey Harris '23 Psychology and English Writing alumna
Kendall Benjamin

“The staff at the Center were incredibly supportive in everything that I did.”

Kendall Benjamin ‘23 Pharmacy alumna
Cassie DiBenedetti

"The Center really helped me evolve in becoming a student leader. They uplifted my passions and motivation to engage with the Duquesne community around racial challenges for Asian American and Pacific Islander students and faculty."

Cassie DiBenedetti ‘22 Data Science alumna
Shaayan Meyers

“I’m so thankful for the Center. The staff there were such incredible role models for me.”

Shaayan Meyers ‘22 Health Sciences alumna
Taylor Hopkins

“The Center really helped me to grow. I popped in there all the time. They were always so supportive.”

Taylor Hopkins '23 Forensic Science and Law alumna
Angelica Alday

"I met my best friends literally my first day through the Center. It was very integral to my overall experience at Duquesne."

Angelica Alday '22 Biomedical Engineering and Pre-Med alumna
Jason Bempah

"I've always had a passion to help others. It was a pleasure to be a mentor through the Center to some of the younger students."

Jason Bempah '22 Business Management alumnus

Pre-Orientation Program

As you embark upon your collegiate journey and pursue your educational goals, you will be provided with a reliable network of support to aid you in your success. We are excited about your arrival and strongly encourage you to join us for our Pre-Orientation Program that is held every August, just prior to the start of Freshman Orientation.

About Pre-O

Our Pre-Orientation program is coordinated each year by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. It is designed to assist students in making a successful transition to Duquesne University. Pre-O provides first-year students with a valuable opportunity to connect with a diverse group of students, administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni. Each session and activity is led by returning student leaders who are dedicated to making this a meaningful experience for participants. Pre-O is open to any student interested in attending and is free of charge.

Contact Us

Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion
412.396.1117 | duqpreo@gmail.com

Duquesne students at The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion's Pre-Orientation program

Visit The Center on CampusLink

Cultural Heritage Month Celebrations

To celebrate our diversity, the Center joins student organizations, University partners and community partners to observe and honor different cultures with a wide range of heritage month celebrations.

Commonly referred to as National Hispanic Heritage Month the Duquesne University community celebrates the cultures of those whose ancestors came from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Spain and Mexico. The Latino American Student Association (LASA) and Caribbean Student Association (CSA) in particular create, convene and lead a variety of programs during this month.
Black History Month is an annual celebration focused on the accomplishments and achievements of Black Americans while honoring the critical role that African-Americans have served in our nation's history.  The Black Student Union (BSU) and Duquesne's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) group spearhead the majority of planning.
Celebrated in March, Women's History Month highlights the many contributions women have made in the history of our nation.  The Center for Women's and Gender Studies is a strong partner in arranging events for Women's History Month.
Asian Pacific Heritage Month encompasses a celebration of members whose roots trace to the Asian continent and the Pacific islands. The Asian Student Association (ASA) and Southeast Asian Student Association (SEAS) are active participants in this month's celebration.


Duquesne University diversity alumni group members with Amber Satterwhite (at far right)

Duquesne Diversity Alumni Group

Originally launched by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2015, our Duquesne University Diversity Alumni Group intentionally seeks to connect previous alumni with our current students. Learn about upcoming events, connect and meet alumni and more!

Facebook Group
Duquesne University Black Alumni Network group shot

Duquesne University Black Alumni Network (DUBAN)

DUBAN’s mission is to promote the presence, engagement, empowerment and success of Duquesne University’s Black Alumni Network by fostering key relationships with and engagement of students, alumni, faculty, staff and other community members through professional, educational, social, leadership and networking programs, as well as through philanthropic support and opportunities.

Learn More

Meet the Directors