Project PROMISE Comes to Emory & Henry Through the Awarding of a Grant

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation has awarded Emory & Henry College as one of seven Appalachian College Association (ACA) colleges with a grant to initiate Project PROMISE, a collaborative program to help college campuses identify their strengths and weaknesses regarding diversity and inclusion.

Project PROMISE is currently in its planning phase, and the grant will allow the receiving colleges to audit and develop a strategic plan to increase the number and proportion of underserved students who graduate, as well as find ways to improve their experiences. 

“The timing of receiving this grant could not have been more perfect for us,” said John Holloway, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We are in the middle of our own strategic planning for diversity, equity and inclusion on this campus. We are figuring out ways to collect data and we plan on releasing preliminary reports after this grant money helps us to improve the process.” 

Both nationally and in the Appalachian region, colleges and universities strive to recruit, retain, and graduate students who have been traditionally underserved in higher education. To be considered for the grant, an ACA college needed to have proof that their institution is dedicated to improving the condition of underserved students. “I am working on my third year here at Emory & Henry. As my role has become more focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, we have made many improvements towards those aspects, though there is room to do more” Holloway said. “The Inclusion and Dialogue Center has been formed and we are putting focus on the different programs for our students to take part of. We are expanding our Martin Luther King Jr. Day convocation to encompass the whole week and include a number of different activities. I personally have been doing more outreach into more diverse communities for student recruitment. And recently in the past couple of years, we have made appearances at a number of different pride festivals in the region.”

Emory & Henry College is working towards improving its dedication to all underserved students, and Holloway has goals in mind for the institution to reach. “We have to improve the diversity of our student population, but we also have to increase the diversity of our faculty and staff. We are currently developing a five-year plan with this grant, and hopefully at the end of that plan, we can make our students feel more at home at Emory & Henry.”

  • Student discuss topics during a breakout session during MLK Convocation.
    Student discuss topics during a breakout session during MLK Convocation.
We have to improve the diversity of our student population, but we also have to increase the diversity of our faculty and staff. We are currently developing a five-year plan with this grant, and hopefully at the end of that plan, we can make our students feel more at home at Emory & Henry.
-John Holloway

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