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Casteen Award Established for Leadership in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

April 19, 2010 — A new Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Leadership Award was  recently given to outgoing University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III,  and named in his honor.

Dr. Marcus L. Martin, interim vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, presented the new award to Casteen at the "Media, Democracy and Diversity" conference earlier this month.

"As University president for the past 20 years, Mr. Casteen has provided strong and consistent leadership in creating an environment that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion," Martin told the audience, reading from the citation accompanying the award.

Future awardees will be announced each year at the annual spring diversity conference. Going forward, a call for nominations selection process will be followed, with the next deadline being March 1, 2011.

According to Martin, a nominee for the John T. Casteen III Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Leadership Award must:

• be a U.Va. student, faculty or staff member;
• have demonstrated a deep commitment and distinct passion for diversity at the University and in the community;
• exemplify a leadership role in increasing diversity, equity and inclusion at the University and in the community;
• have achieved a sustainable and quantifiable impact on diversity, equity and inclusion at the University and in the community.

In addition to the nomination form, the selection committee will require three letters of support (one of which must be from outside the nominee's department or school), and the nominee's resume or curriculum vitae.

Nominations will be due each March 1. Contact the Office for Diversity and Equity with any questions regarding the nomination process.

During the presentation, Martin highlighted several of Casteen's efforts in the diversity arena, including:

• Forming the U.Va. Commission on Diversity and Equity in 2003, with recommendations becoming plans of action;
• Creating the new position of vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity;
• Being instrumental five years ago in developing AccessUVa, now widely recognized as the best and most effective need-based financial aid program in the country.
Casteen has served as president of the University since 1990. For the past 15 years, U.Va. has led the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education's annual rankings of African-American graduation rates.

From 1975 to 1982, Casteen served as the University's dean of admission. He traveled all over Virginia, encouraging the daughters and sons of minority families to apply to the U.Va. While serving as secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1982 to 1985, he overhauled Virginia's college desegregation efforts. 

— By Anne Bromley

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