A Framework for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at LaGrange College

A group of diverse students sit in around a table discussing business strategies.

Living our Mission

LaGrange College exists for our students, and aligned with our Wesleyan educational tradition, our faculty, staff, and administration support them in “their search for truth.”  Our mission statement calls us to be “an ethical and caring community that values excellence, service, civility, diversity and inclusion, [preparing] students to become successful, responsible citizens who aspire to lives of integrity and moral courage.”

In service to these goals, LaGrange College strives to be a diverse institution. Students, faculty, and staff carry with them different levels of exposure to, and understanding of, diversity.  By acknowledging and celebrating this variety of experiences, we can create opportunities for academic success for all, regardless of background.  All of us at the college and in the LaGrange community must be intentional about building, developing, and sustaining mutually respectful and authentic relationships, sharing stories of everyone’s lived experiences, and working to eliminate all barriers to opportunity.

We cannot move forward as an institution without acknowledging the entirety of our history and the roles played by everyone in our community.

We cannot move forward as an institution without valuing each person’s experience on our campus, understanding that being an inclusive community implies that the voices of everyone are indispensable in cultivating our institution’s identity.


We can do better. We must do better.

Responding to the call of our mission statement, as a community,


DEI-baccalaureate.jpgwe are ethical and caring when we

  • Empower all individuals to share the full expression of their identities, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ability, citizenship, age, political views, socioeconomic status, veteran status, immigration status, and physical appearance
  • Provide and support the development of mental and physical well-being of our community by fostering self-care, emotional support, and an awareness of neurodiversity
  • Provide and encourage opportunities for spiritual inquiry and development of religious identity


we maintain excellence in what we do by

  • Understanding the college’s position in society and in our local community by documenting our complete institutional history
  • Provide and engage in an inclusive learning environment, recognizing that students learn in different ways
  • Understand and explore the roles that equality and inequality play in shaping our individual and college identities and experiences.


we are in service to others when we

  • Actively engage with others in the community, both at the college and in LaGrange
  • Advocate for others
  • Recognize the needs of our community, and volunteer our time and talent where needed


Three students pose with the college mascot, Pouncerwe are civil to one another when we

  • Intentionally and courageously listen to one another
  • Recognize the power of language and the need for respectful dialogue when in conversation with one another
  • Understand each other’s beliefs as products of their lived experiences


we honor and promote diversity and inclusion as we

  • Review our current practices, policies, and curricula through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Develop and implement inclusive and equitable practices, policies, and curricula across the institution
  • Support and encourage the creation and maintenance of student organizations on campus that reflect the full diversity of our student population
  • Recognize and embrace the variety of voices on campus, and take steps to amplify those voices


In endorsing this framework of action, LaGrange College affirms the need to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus and in the larger community. This is our aspiration for what we want our institution to be, what we want our campus community to become, and how we want others to see us:  as an institution that views everyone as being made in God’s own image; with their own skills and abilities, desires, and dreams; and with their own valuable role to play in the community.

Board of Trustees endorsement of work

At its April, 2023, meeting LaGrange College’s Board of Trustees endorsed this framework and approved the creation and publication of a full history of the institution.  Identifying this framework as not only relevant and necessary to continued success for the institution, but as “the right thing to do” for our students, our institution, and for the larger LaGrange community.  The institutional history will be completed over the next 2 – 3 years and highlight the contributions of all members of the campus community, everyone who came together to create the institution that now exists.  This history will be begun in Fall 2023.

Permanent DEIJ committee created

In early summer, 2023, President Susanna Baxter formed the LaGrange College Committee on Building a More Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive and Just Community. A permanent committee beginning in Fall 2023 that will report to the president, the committee exists to coordinate efforts across campus to build and sustain a more equitable community. The Committee will meet regularly to:

  • Initiate and coordinate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across campus, as identified in the college’s strategic plan;
  • Create a baseline of retention and student success data, organized by various student demographics, and update the data annually following the fall Day of Record;
  • Coordinate a schedule of regular assessment of policies, procedures, activities, and events on campus, and to recommend changes to policy and procedure based on best practices as appropriate;
  • Regularly assess the campus climate and recommend changes regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to the appropriate group;
  • Update all member constituencies, including the LaGrange community, regularly regarding DEIJC activities; and
  • Perform other DEIJ-related duties as directed by the president.


The committee will be chaired by Brian Peterson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and will be composed of faculty, staff, and student members.  Serving for up to three years, the following staff and faculty members have accepted the president’s invitation to join the committee.  The length of their term is identified in parentheses.  Three students will be appointed for one-year terms in early fall 2023.


  • Colby Jones, Associate Professor of Education (2025)
  • Laurie Jones, Director of Human Resources (2026)
  • Jasen Jonus, Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Head Cross Country Coach (2025)
  • Linda McMullen, Ely R. Callaway, Sr., Professor of International Business and Management (2024)
  • Justin Muller, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2026)
  • Nikkovia Sweet, Specialist and Assistant, Department of Communications and Marketing (2024)

Brian Peterson
Vice President of Academic Affairs



All-Gender Restrooms are available in the following on-campus buildings during usual building operating hours.

  • Banks Hall -2nd  and 3rd Floors
  • Callaway Science Building - 1st Floor
  • Callaway Education Building (CEB) - Football Practice Field Entrance
  • Hudson Lab Science Building - 1st Floor
  • Pitts Dining Hall - Lobby Left
  • Quillian Building – 2nd Floor -Human Resources
  • Smith Hall – 1st Floor- Cobb Board Room Entrance
  • Westside Building- Lobby of Beason Hall