Mount Pleasant, IA – June 19, 2020 — Iowa Wesleyan University continues to demonstrate its commitment to the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion. IW is proud to announce today, on the celebration of Juneteenth, the establishment of the Susan Mosely Grandison Diversity and Inclusion Fund.
This fund is named in honor of Susan Mosely Grandison, who became Iowa Wesleyan’s first African-American graduate in 1885. Susan also received her master’s degree from IW in 1888 and became the first African-American student to earn an advanced degree from the university. Susan was reportedly born a slave, but her family moved to Mount Pleasant when she was a toddler, presumably following the Emancipation Proclamation’s full enforcement. Susan’s parents were committed to providing educational opportunities for their children. In return, Susan dedicated her life and career to ensuring that black students had the same opportunities she had to pursue a college degree.
“Iowa Wesleyan University has an obligation to address past and current injustices to those who have been historically disadvantaged and socially, politically, and economically excluded. Our commitment as a campus community is to deepen our understanding of diversity and to face challenges relating to equality and inclusion,” said IW President, Chris Plunkett. “It is not enough to express our commitment to core values that reflect social justice and civility. Our mission states that we are a transformational learning community, and we must double down on our commitment to impact change through education. As a higher educational institution, it is incumbent on us to support and encourage demands for individual justice and broad social change.”
This fund will be used to establish affiliations and memberships with national student organizations focused on diversity and inclusion, host facilitators for awareness and educational training on campus, sponsor student attendance at national conferences on issues of race and diversity, and support programming and speaker events.