Affirming our commitments

To the Wheaton community,

The Supreme Court’s decision today striking down affirmative action in higher education has many observers wondering whether colleges can continue making progress in enrolling and graduating students who have historically been underrepresented on our nation’s campuses.

I want to assure you that Wheaton College remains dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning community where all students feel a sense of belonging. This ruling will not change that commitment. It is rooted in our mission, and it is firmly embedded in our plans for the future.

Admission decisions at Wheaton are based on a comprehensive evaluation of each student’s high school record, accomplishments, activities and experiences. This approach has led to a growing and academically accomplished student population that is increasingly diverse—one in four new students comes from an historically underrepresented group. 

On Wheaton’s behalf, I joined with other college and university presidents, Massachusetts state officials and other leaders throughout the Commonwealth in issuing a joint statement affirming this as a shared commitment. You can read the full statement below.

President Michaele Whelan

Joint statement regarding Supreme Court affirmative action ruling:

The Healey-Driscoll Administration along with Massachusetts government partners, elected officials, higher education leaders, civil rights advocates, and organizations dedicated to equity issued the following statement today regarding the United States Supreme Court’s decision in two higher education admissions cases Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina:

“Massachusetts will always be welcoming and inclusive of students of color and students historically underrepresented in higher education. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, which overturned decades of settled law, our values and our commitment to progress and continued representation in education remain unshakable.

We will continue to break down barriers to higher education and ensure all students see themselves represented in both our public and private campus communities. Massachusetts, the home of the first public school and first university, will lead the way in championing access, equity, and inclusion in education.

We want to make sure that students of color, LGBTQ+ students, first generation students, and all students historically underrepresented from higher education feel welcomed and valued at our colleges and universities, and today’s decision, while disappointing, will not change our commitment to these students. We have a moral imperative to make sure our schools reflect our communities and our values—our academic competitiveness, the future of our workforce, and our commitment to equity demand we take action.”