Harvard University

Photo credit: Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock.com

For the first time in this prestigious institution’s history, the incoming class of students at Harvard University is majority minority.

That has never happened in its 380 years of existence. The class of 2021 is 50.8 percent minority, and is comprised of Blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans or Pacific Islanders, the Boston Globe reported.

“To become leaders in our diverse society, students must have the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives,” Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane said in the statement. “Harvard remains committed to enrolling diverse classes of students.”

This milestone was close to happening a year ago as minority students made up 47.3 percent of the incoming freshman class, the publication reported.

This is a huge milestone for a university and an Ivy League system that has had trouble embracing diversity and seems to mark the beginning of a trend of more diversity in higher education.

But Harvard’s push to broaden the diversity of its student ranks comes as the Trump administration intensifies its focus on affirmative action policies and suggests it will investigate how colleges shape the racial makeup of their campuses. The Trump White House has directed the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate policies that benefit minorities and allegedly disenfranchise Whites. The president said the Justice Department is preparing to redirect resources from its civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against White applicants, The New York Times reported this past week.

The Trump administration came back and said it had no broad plans to investigate whether college and university admissions programs discriminate against students based on race and that it was looking into a single complaint from a coalition of Asian-American groups filed in 2015. The coalition filed an administrative complaint against Harvard University, alleging that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are using racial quotas that shut out more qualified Asians.

Terry Shropshire

I’m a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.