Though Austin College was founded in 1849 to educate a very narrow segment of young, white, Presbyterian men to become ministers, our campus has been increasing in diversity from the very beginning. For example, in 2019 we celebrated 100 years of co-education. A diverse and united community is at the core of who we are. In fact, of the six key points in the mission of Austin College, half relate to diversity and inclusion. Valuing, promoting, and understanding diversity are fundamental to Austin College. Today, we are a 21st century liberal arts college educating students of various ethnicities, genders, and faiths (or no faith) to become leaders in an increasing diverse world.
Though we are proud of the diversity that exists among our student body, we also understand that diversity and inclusion are not synonymous. Our community has members who vary with respect to gender, disability status, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious orientation, socioeconomic status, and so on. Because we are committed to inclusion as well as diversity, we strive to be a place where all people feel equally valued and free to participate in the life of the college. No matter who are, you belong here.
Campus Diversity Demographics - Fall 2018
Student Organizations and Activities
At Austin College you can participate in a variety of student-led clubs and organizations that celebrate what makes us each unique, including a wide array of cultural, religious, and interest based groups which all students, regardless of identity, are welcome to join.
First-Generation College Students
One of the invisible identity factors that is common at Austin College is being a first-generation college student. Because you can’t tell by looking that another student, successful alum, or even member of the faculty or staff is or was a first-gen college student, it may be harder to see that there are people at Austin College who are just like you in this regard. Below we will be highlighting some members of our community who are first generation college students who have succeeded and thrived. Though we are only showing a few, these people are not the exceptions, but part of a large and essential part of our campus community.
My name is Renee Countryman, and I am a first-generation college graduate. I am also a professor in the psychology department with a focus on neuroscience. My dad was a high school dropout, and my mom only earned her high school diploma. My dad learned how to be a mechanic in the Army, and my mom… [Read More]
I am Patrick Duffey, professor of Spanish, and I’m a first-generation college graduate. My mom was a secretary, and my dad worked in building maintenance. Both taught me about working hard, about being kind, and about not being pretentious, but neither went to college, and neither could give me advice about navigating the paths of higher… [Read More]
I am Ryan Felix and I am a first-generation student. I attended Oberlin College, a small liberal arts school in Ohio. While my parents supported my decision to go to college, they couldn’t provide any guidance on how to be successful or how to navigate the system once there, as neither had attended college themselves.… [Read More]
My name is Michael Deen, your Dean of Students, and I am a first-generation college graduate. My mother, who picked cotton, raised turkeys, and cleaned houses, had a 5th grade education, and my father, who had a 10th grade education, went into the Navy as a career. Neither of my parents had any idea what… [Read More]
Major: Physics – Minor: Math and Chemistry Bio: From a young age, I was drawn to the stars, and by the time I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to study astronomy. Knowing how beautiful and mysterious the universe is, knowing that we are all made of stardust, knowing all humans are more… [Read More]