Diversity at Kalamazoo College

Our students come from around the world and around the country, bringing with them a wide array of identities and experiences. K is committed to providing a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for people of different backgrounds and perspectives as well as fostering a campus climate and academic experience in which our diverse community of learners can thrive.  

At K, we encourage you to get involved in activities and organizations that help you foster connections, nurture your passions, and engage with others whose experiences and perspectives are different from your own. As your K education prepares you to “better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world,” we hope that you will graduate equipped to not only navigate a world that is diverse and complex, but to change it for the better. 

The College acknowledges that it was built on the land of the Council of the Three Fires—the Ojibwe, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi—and recognizes the enduring relationship that exists between the People of the Three Fires and this land.  

Intercultural Student Life

President Jorge Gonzalez speaking with students

The Office of Intercultural Student Life works toward fostering the development of intercultural competence among students and ensuring a sense of belonging among all students, with a special focus on the experience of students of color, first-generation students, LGBTQ+ students, low-income students, and international students. 

K’s Intercultural Center is a dedicated space, welcome to all students, that builds community by providing services and programming that celebrate our diverse student body. The Intercultural Center is designed to provide refuge, support, and education—especially for traditionally marginalized students. 

Identity-based student organizations, such as the Black Student Organization, K Desi and Kaleidoscope, also offer an avenue for students to support one another, celebrate their culture, and push Kalamazoo College to be a more inclusive institution. 

Celebrating Diversity on Campus

The College is greatly enriched by the multitudes of identities represented in our campus community. While intersectionality is integrated into every aspect of life at K, the College has several campus-wide traditions that celebrate diversity. 

students dancing

Afro Fiesta Desi Sol

Ten multicultural student organizations come together each year to showcase their cultures at Afro Fiesta Desi Sol, transforming the Hicks Student Center into a stage for student performances and a buffet of international food.

Students performing the dragon dance

Asia Fest

Organized by Asian and Pacific Islander student groups on campus, Asia Fest is an annual performance night featuring modern and traditional music and dance. 

Pride Ball

Sponsored by Kaleidoscope, an LGBTQ+ student organization, Pride Ball is an annual party celebrating queer culture where students are invited to challenge gender norms for a fun night of music, fashion, and drag performances.

Inclusive Excellence in STEM

two students in a chemistry lab

In 2018, Kalamazoo College was awarded a $1 million, five-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to participate in a nationwide quest to find ways to better serve students from demographic groups that are underrepresented in science and mathematics.  K was one of 33 colleges chosen for HHMI’s Inclusive Excellence initiative. 

The funds are being used to revise the curriculum of introductory science and math courses to better integrate career guidance and shared concepts between disciplines; enhance academic support centers; provide professional development for faculty and staff to increase their cultural competencies; and revisit the hiring, tenure and promotion policies to better reward inclusive practices. 

Additional Resources

Kalamazoo College Diversity News