Campus Message on the Supreme Court Ruling on Race-Conscious Admissions

June 29, 2023

Interim President Kristine E. Dillon provided the following message to the Whittier College community regarding the Supreme Court ruling on race-conscious admissions.

Dear Poets,

I write to address the Supreme Court’s decision today to ban consideration of race in admissions at public and private colleges and universities nationwide. While such practices ended in California in 2009, the federal ruling will necessitate a national shift in college admissions.

The justices’ decision will be viewed as a setback for efforts by higher education to improve experiences for students to participate in a diverse, thriving student body. In our case, Whittier is recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution with about half of Poets identifying as Latinx, and as a Minority Serving Institution — some 70% of Poets are students of color. We will continue to honor and celebrate our namesake, John Greenleaf Whittier, the Quaker abolitionist poet, by embracing the ideal that every human being has value, no matter their background, circumstances or how they identify. John Greenleaf Whittier fought for the rights of everyone. Our job is to make this vision real.

Rather than dampen our spirits, the ruling will serve to sharpen our own focus on supporting student success through diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. While following the law, we will remain committed to maintaining Whittier’s status as a national model for providing access to higher education for students of all backgrounds. We will also continue to embrace and value the brilliant diversity of the world, in alignment with our mission to support a well-educated, civic-minded populace, and to ensure our graduates can successfully compete in the global marketplace.


Kristine E. Dillon ’73, Ph.D.
Interim President