Important developments in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Oglethorpe

Dear Oglethorpe Community,

In August I named Dr. Rhana Gittens Wheeler Special Advisor to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Since then, Dr. Wheeler has proven to be an indispensable resource for the entire campus, helping us navigate global concerns that affect all of us. Her adept guidance and wise counsel have led me to name her Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer for the university effective June 1.

In this new capacity she will continue to report to me and serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet. She will also continue serving as Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Program Coordinator for African American Studies.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Wheeler for her DEI leadership and congratulating her on this new position.

Among her many accomplishments this year was shepherding the university’s DEI statement through the final steps of approval by the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees. The following statement was approved by the trustees at their meeting on April 19:

At Oglethorpe University, we are committed to fostering inclusion and a sense of belonging for all members of our campus community. We work to craft educational opportunities that minimize inequities, dismantle barriers to participation and access, and continuously develop the essential skills to collaborate effectively across diverse perspectives.

We celebrate the distinctive qualities that shape our personal and cultural identities. We view the diversity of our students and employees as an invaluable asset and provide platforms for the community to champion issues that resonate with them. We strive to establish an environment where everyone within our campus community can show up as their authentic selves. As we cultivate connections, we work to advocate for each other’s needs and forge a united community that makes a positive global impact.

DEI remains an integral part of our mission at Oglethorpe, and this newly approved statement along with Dr. Wheeler’s appointment are clear demonstrations of our commitment.

I am looking forward to Commencement on Saturday, and I wish you all the best as we close out the semester.



Kathryn McClymond, Ph.D. (she, her)