About the Hedgeman Center

Purpose and objectives

The Hedgeman Center for Student Diversity Initiatives and Programs helps create and sustain an inclusive community that appreciates, celebrates and advances student and campus diversity at Hamline University.
We support, empower, and promote the success of all students with particular attention to U.S. students of color and indigenous students, first generation college students and other students from historically marginalized backgrounds. In partnership with other university and community members, our initiatives help prepare students to live, serve and succeed in a diverse university and world.
Related, our objectives are to:

  • Provide services, resources and initiatives that assist students with successful transitions, meaningful experiences and graduation from the University
  • Offer personal, social and cultural support to students and encourage academic success
  • Create opportunities for students to embrace, celebrate and learn about diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, and social identities
  • Facilitate student  leadership, engagement and participation in the University community
  • Advocate for students and assist University constituencies in creating environments supportive of students from diverse backgrounds, identities and communities
  • Educate the University community about the unique histories, cultures and experiences of students from diverse backgrounds and populations
  • Provide opportunities for the University community to engage in meaningful discourse about multicultural, diversity, and social justice issues

Our services are inclusive, but some initiatives are targeted toward specific communities.

History of the Hedgeman Center: A timeline

Date Historical event
1968 Shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968), Hamline University President Bailey appointed a university-wide committee to investigate and make recommendations concerning the university relationship, outreach and services for “disadvantaged youth,” resulting in Document 14.
1969 Promoting Racial Identity, Dignity, and Equality (PRIDE), the first student-of-color organization started. Richard Jones, a sophomore, was elected as the first president. PRIDE represented and was inclusive of all American students of color, as well as international students.
1970 As a result of Document 14, the Office of Special Programs was created with Leavy Oliver hired as Director of Special Programs and Educationally Disadvantaged Students.
1973 Office of Special Programs changed to Office of Minority Affairs.
1974 Name changed again to Minority Careers Office, becomes known as Office of Minority Programs. Barbara Simmons becomes the director.
1978 Office of Minority Programs begins reporting to the Dean of Students.
1979 Yolanda Williams, a 1979 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts, becomes Director of Minority Programs.
1984 Spanish Latin American Club formed on campus, group later dissolves.
1985 Daniel Abebe, a 1974 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts, becomes Director of Minority Programs.
1986 Office of Minority Programs changed to Office of Intercultural Affairs.  International students and domestic students of color integrated into the same office.
1989 Starletta Barber Poindexter becomes new director of newly named office—Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).  International students and domestic students of color now served from separate offices, OMA and Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS).
1989 Hamline Open Organization for Diversity (HOOD) founded in the fall by CLA student, Jamie Hart (’91).  Group later dissolves during 1997-98 school year.
1990 Hamline Asian American Student Union (HAASU), formerly Asia Watch, is charted. Founding members include Chia Vue (’94), Yeng Yang (’92), Kang Her (’94), Chao Lee (’92), and Jodi Price (’93).
1992 HAASU becomes Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC).
1994 HU Board of Trustees approves the current University Diversity Policy.
1995 Hmong Student Association (HSA) established by students, Xengsuely Yangwaue (’98, president 1996-97), Tou Chao Lee (’99, president 1998-99), and Ge Xiong (‘98, president 1997-98).
1996 Native American Student Association (NASA) founded by students Angie Losh, Karissa White (’96), Darian LaTocha (’97), and Kelly Milam (’98).
1998 Carlos D. Sneed becomes the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Alma Latina, International Student Organization, and Multicultural Alliance created, along with Social Justice Symposium and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. University Commemoration. Josh Jongewaard (’98) was the founding president of Alma Latina. Sanaz Abaie (’99) was the founding president of the International Student Organization.
1999 During Victoria L. Squire’s presidency, PRIDE became the Black Student Alliance (acronym no longer part of the official name but used in historic references).
2001 Office moves from Student Center to Old Main Hall and renamed Center for Multicultural and International Student Affairs (MISA), as offices begins coordinating International Student Orientation and offering on-going support, advising and programs to CLA international students.  Administrative Assistant positions reduced to part-time to allow for the creation of a part time Coordinator of International Student Support position.
2003 Upon the departure of the Administrative Assistant, the position was lost as the Coordinator for International Student Support became a full-time position.
Spring 2003

Multiracial Student Association (MSA) founded by Peter Johnson, a senior, and Laura Mann, a sophomore, who serves as the first coordinator. MSA name later changed to FUSION.

Students of Southwest Asia (SOSA) founded with Colin Smith, a junior, serving as the founding president.

Hamline African Student Association (HASA) founded by Ahmed Sirleaf II, a senior, with Abdiraham Abdi served as the first president during the 2004-2005 school year.

October 2004 Carlos D. Sneed is promoted to new position as Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Community/ Director of Multicultural and International Student Affairs as position and responsibilities expanded to include campus-wide diversity programs. Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Programs, a new position, created to augment expansion of Sneed’s role.
Spring 2005

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and Hamline International Graduate Student Association (HIGSA) founded.  Tenzin Tsering, a junior, founded SFT while Tenzin Yangdon, a sophomore, elected to serve as president during the 2005-06 school year.

Damian Waite, an international student from the School of Management and MISA student worker, helps to establish and serves as the first president of the Hamline International Graduate Student Association (HIGSA).

April 2005 PRIDE Black Student Alliance celebrated 35th anniversary with Alumni Reunion Weekend, igniting alumni interest in reconnecting with Hamline, each other and current students.
July 2005 MISA begins coordinating immigration services for international students. The Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS) is disbanded.  MISA now provides all services, programs and support for all international students and CLA students of color.  Administrative Assistant position returns to the office.
August 2005 Black Alumni Association formed. Yolanda Williams (’79), former director, is elected first president.
2005 – 2006 MISA celebrates thirty-five year anniversary, Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) celebrates fifteen year anniversary, and Hmong Student Association (HSA) celebrates ten year anniversary with alumni reunion event in April.
June 2006 MISA Office moves to new location, 1475 Hewitt Avenue.
July 2010 MISA Office begins reported to the Office of Diversity Integration under the Association Vice President for Diversity Integration, the senior diversity officer at Hamline University.
January 2011 MISA Office reorganized with international student services removed from MISA Office. Gender and sexual orientation initiatives added to office with new position added to address these issues and populations.
April 2011 Office renamed Hedgeman Center for Student Diversity Initiatives and Programs, after Anna Arnold Hedgeman, class of 1922, Hamline’s first graduate of color.

To learn more, you can view a slideshow presentation (PDF) about the history of the Hedgeman Center.

Contact information