Monmouth University President Patrick F. Leahy was named a Top 50 Leader in Higher Education at the 17th Annual National Diversity & Leadership Conference. The four-day virtual conference, held on April 21-22 and April 28-29, honors a number of diverse talents from different industries with this year’s theme being “Be a Changemaker.”
“I am honored to be recognized among such a distinguished group of educational, business, and technology leaders who are committed to fully embracing diversity and inclusion. Our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion involves the efforts of so many of my dedicated colleagues. While I appreciate the recognition, I must also recall the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which are displayed prominently in our Great Hall, ‘We have come a long way, but we still have a long, long way to go,’” said Leahy.
The award, given by The National Diversity Council, recognizes individuals in higher education who contribute to the growth of their students, organization, and community, and are active in mentoring the next generation of professionals in the education sector. The organization categorizes its award winners as innovators, strategists, and pioneers whose long-term contributions have significantly and uniquely impacted the greater community over the course of their career.
During his tenure, Leahy has welcomed Monmouth’s most diverse and academically prepared class—boasting the highest grade point average of any incoming class—in the school’s history. He has prioritized diversity and inclusion efforts by expanding access to academic excellence. Among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for 2020, Monmouth University ranks as one of the top five private, non-denominational, Division I schools for student access and academic excellence. Nearly one-third of Monmouth students are Pell Grant-eligible, and more than 40% of first-year students are first generation college students. On July 1, the University will begin implementation of a new strategic plan, “Access. Excellence. Ambition.” The plan, developed under Leahy’s leadership, pledges to double the racial diversity of faculty and staff to reflect the diversity of the students at Monmouth University.
Leahy joins other notable university presidents and chancellors across the country on the list. To learn more about the National Diversity and Leadership Conference, please visit http://nationaldiversityconference.com/2021/.