Campus Center for Equity and Diversity and Multicultural Education Center History




1966-67 - Center for Equity and Diversity

The Center for Equity and Diversity was built between 1966-1967 by the Green Bay Catholic Diocese as a Newman Center, a Catholic student services organization found on campuses around the country. The mid-century modern concrete building, designed by prominent Minnesota architectural firm Val Michelson Associates, was considered quite extraordinary in Oshkosh when it was built and it remains one of UW Oshkosh’s more interesting buildings. The building included offices, meeting spaces, and classrooms, a 700-seat chapel, a library, and living quarters for three resident priests.

It was built to serve the spiritual needs of the projected 4,000 Catholic students who would be on campus by the fall of 1967. Prior to that, Catholic students were served, poorly, in several off-campus rented houses.

The Newman Center hosted regular masses and congregational events. It also provided space for other meetings of the university community, including for many years, the University’s gospel choir.

1968 - James McKee and Phil Layne Join the University as Assistant Deans


The University hired two black staff members, James McKee and Phil Layne, as assistant deans. Their job was to create a program that would provide counseling, advising, tutoring, and orientation of minority students. They would also lead the University’s recruitment efforts as well as do research and community outreach.

James McKee, Phil Layne, and the Advisory Committee for Culturally Distinct Students were to whom president Roger Guiles looked to address the October demands of the Black Student Union (BSU) in 1968.

1969 - Intercultural Center Opens

A University-owned house on Elmwood Avenue becomes the Intercultural Center, a study and learning space designed for students of color. The fulfillment of one of the demands of the Black Thursday protest, the Intercultural Center provided a comfortable location for minority students on the majority-white campus as well as a resource for multiculturalism in Oshkosh. Within three years, the program would move to the historic Wall House on Algoma and be renamed the Multicultural Education Center (MEC).

Fall 1969 - Curtis Holt, Assistant Dean/Inter-Cultural Center Director

Following the Black Thursday protest, Wisconsin State University expanded services and outreach, and engagement, particularly with Black students.

The Black Student Union, now rebranded the Afro-American Society, opened the doors to its Inter-Cultural Center in the fall of 1969. Its director, assistant dean Curtis Holt, was hired to replace James McKee. Holt was charged to develop the Center’s education, social, and outreach mission.



1971-74 - Andrew Hopgood, MEC Director

Two students (left) and Andrew Hopgood (right) at the MEC.

The first real dedicated program and sustained program to help students of color on campus was the newly renamed Multi-Cultural Center that had recently moved from Elmwood to the Wall house on Algoma Boulevard. Remember, while the Inter-cultural Center sounded inclusive, it was built and staffed as essentially as a Black student center, which is what it was commonly called.

It was social space first and other students of color and certainly White students didn’t see it as a place for them. The idea of a true Multi-Cultural Center as central hub for minority student services came from Edward Spicer at System administration. Spicer was UW System diversity champion had conceived of the center at Oshkosh and hoped it would be for all students of color, e.g., African Americans, Latinos, American Indians as well as foreign students of color.

The Multi-Cultural Center at Oshkosh was initially run by Andrew Hopgood. In a few years Hopgood would add the word Education to his program’s name and staff the house with American Indian and Chicano advisors and the group developed a broad spectrum of annual programming.

1973-74 - Dr. Clyde DeBerry, Director of Minority Affairs

The 1970s saw three new successive upper-level administrators at Oshkosh who worked to invent services for students of color at Oshkosh. The director of Minority Affairs position was a new position and the University hired Dr. Clyde de Berry. Dr. DeBerry came to Oshkosh wanting to build community and he aspired to transform curriculum across campus to be more multicultural.  As he put it, “The institution needed tutoring, not the students.”

Spring 1974 - DeBerry's Intercultural Institute

DeBerry’s Intercultural Institute was run by James Harris and included initially four courses including Independent Study, Theory and Principles of Community Development, African Social Thought, and La Raza Social Thought. And one of four Independent studies courses including Black Women, Spanish and Mexican Dance, Native American Song, and Drumming, or a traditional student-developed IS.

These were offered in the spring of 1974 but interest in this first year was low. It also doesn’t appear to be what the University was thinking their new director of Minority Affairs would be doing since they assumed academic departments themselves would develop courses and content on the experiences of people of color worldwide. The Institute along with Clyde DeBerry’s tenure with UWO did not survive. He was not renewed by outgoing president Roger Guiles and this decision was not reversed by incoming chancellor Bob Birnbaum. DeBerry continued through the summer to assist the administration improve his successor’s position. Critical to this was the ability of this person to be part of the chancellor’s cabinet, an issue that resurfaced over the years.

September 1974 - Dr. James Baugh, Assistant to the Chancellor for Academic Development/Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Development

As UWO’s new chancellor, Birnbaum didn’t just refuse to reinstate DeBerry, he eliminated the position of director of Minority Affairs.

Andrew Hopgood with two assistants kept things at the Multicultural Education Center (MEC) moving along.  And a new position, an assistant to the chancellor for Academic Development, was created and this was soon retitled as an assistant vice chancellor.

Dr. James Baugh was hired in September 1974. Academic development meant he was to be in charge of academic support services for all students.

There were three main programs either existing or being developed by Baugh in support of students including the MEC, Developmental Education, and the Minority Disadvantage Program.  This Minority Disadvantage program started first from Federal and UW System monies, and consisted of the nascent pre-college programs.

1975-77 - John Smith, Multicultural Education Center Director

During his time at the University, Baugh brought in two men to help develop services at Oshkosh.

In 1975, John Smith was hired as the director of the Multicultural Center, replacing Andrew Hopgood.

Smith wanted to transform the Multicultural Education Center (MEC) into the Ethnic Science Center. He desired to shift the focus on the MEC away from the social activities and more toward academics and the pursuit of this emerging approach to transform education at the University.

1975-80 - Dr. Alfonzo Thurman, Director of Developmental Education

Dr. Alfonzo Thurman came to the University from UW System in 1975 as the director of Developmental Education. This was UW Oshkosh’s Office of Student Support Services (SSS) programs to provide tutoring, personal, academic, and financial counseling, and career guidance for first-generation, disabled, veteran, previously incarcerated, and low-income students and attempted to work with minority students who met these criteria.

Unlike John Smith, Dr. Thurman was a deft administrator and at the time of Baugh’s departure, the Multicultural Education Center (MEC) and the minority disadvantaged program were brought under Thurman.

It was under Dr. Thurman’s tenure that the pre-college program began in earnest in 1978.

By moving the MEC under Dr. Thurman, it allowed him to reduce duplication in the mission in the different programs. He made sure the MEC was focused on programming and being a clearinghouse of information rather than a place for advising or tutoring, or in a break with Smith, involved in curricular or academics at all. And, he was aided in these efforts by a new director of the MEC, Charles Taylor.

1977-80 - Charles Taylor, Multicultural Education Center Director

Charles (Chuck) Taylor replaced John Smith as Multicultural Education Center (MEC) director.

Taylor was popular with the students. His approach to the MEC seemed to be in line with the original Spicer model as he didn’t have plans to do more with the MEC than to support students and their organizations and plan and execute quality programming. Teaching through these programs was about the unique aspects of different cultures and celebrating those.



1981-85 - Dr. Melvin Terrell, Multicultural Center Director

Dr. Williams was served during this time by entrepreneurial Multicultural Education Center (MEC) director Melvin Terrell who picked up from a temporary serving Christopher Jones.

Dr. Terrell was instrumental in developing a raft of newly invigorated programming including the Multicultural Arts Festival, the MLK Tribute, the first Hmong-American dinner, and even a European Heritage Lecture series. He also started the University’s Gospel Choir.

Dr. Terrell was an academic as well as an administrator and undertook or oversaw research through the MEC about the impact of services and environments that would help the University and Terrell’s staff improve their work.

Another one of his ideas was to print the MEC newsletter in the Advance Titan providing all students an accessible way to promote the MEC’s programming but also diversity issues writ large.

He encouraged minority students to expand their leadership roles in other non-ethnically based student groups, which he called mainstreaming.

1983-85 - Dr. Shirley Williams, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Development and Minority Programs and Services

Between 1978 when James Baugh resigned, and 1983, there was no assistant vice chancellor (AVC) in charge of minority services. The AVC position vacated by Dr. James Baugh was held by Richard Turzenski, who was the placement director for Career Services from 1977-1978. The Multicultural Education Center (MEC) (before the move to College of Education and Human Services) Minority Services and Development Services were first removed from the AVC’s responsibilities and were put under Thurman and attached to Affirmative Action.

In 1983, the University recreated the position. Now called the AVC for Academic Development and Minority Programs and Services, the school hired Shirley Williams Long of the College of Education and Human Services. In fact, Dr. Williams is considered the school’s first African American faculty member when she was hired in 1966.

1984 - Wall House Placed on National Registry

Tearing Down the Wall

The Thomas A. Wall house, which is a Colonial revival style home, was designed and built by William Waters for a lumber baron and it is placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

1985-1986 - Mario VanZandt, Multicultural Education Center Manager

Mario VanZandt used his short time on campus to centralize multicultural programming at the Multicultural Education Center.

1985-87 - Laura Adams, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor

Laura Adams, who was a member of the Nursing faculty, was brought in to temporarily fill the assistant vice chancellor (AVC) after Dr. Shirley Williams left. As a member of the Menominee Nation, she brought a new perspective to the role.

1987-91 - Dr. Sam Cargile, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Development and Minority Programs and Services/Academic Support

The assistant vice chancellor position would be filled formally in 1987 by Dr. Sam Cargile.

One of Dr. Cargile’s important legacies was his Design for Diversity, which may have been the first strategic diversity plan activity on campus.

In 1987, after two years without a Multicultural Education Center (MEC) director, Dr. Cargile asked American Indian advisor Mary Beth Cuney to be the coordinator of the MEC. This may have been an expansion of duties for Cuney rather than a filling of the old director position.

Cuney left the University after two years and several coordinators or co-coordinators would manage the MEC including Deborah Sutton-Johnson, Mike Flanagan, Irma Burgos, and Byron Adams.



1993-2008 - Dr. Muriel Hawkins, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Support

To replace Dr. Sam Cargile, Dr. Muriel Hawkins was hired as the slightly reworded assistant vice chancellor for Academic Support in 1993. Her early focus was on reactivating the Community-University Human Relations Council and growing her program’s connection to the Oshkosh community and beyond.

Her efforts helped create a formal partnership with the Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee for field placements of College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) students. In addition to that, Dr. Hawkins put renewed energy into the Martin Luther King, Jr. dinner and opened UWO’s satellite office in Milwaukee. She also began teaching occasionally in the COEHS. She also co-edited the Multicultural Education Center (MEC) cookbook, which is available today at University Books & More.

Dr. Hawkins and her staff were also central to the University’s second diversity plan after Dr. Sam Cargile’s. Plan 2008 was a systematic approach to increase graduates of color through the familiar themes of recruitment and support, and diversity awareness and celebration along with a more robust effort to strengthen partnerships in the community both in and beyond Oshkosh. Aided by grant funding the project was implemented in 1999 and shaped Dr. Hawkins’ efforts for a decade.

In 2008, 21 years of service and after a rewarding American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at Dillard University, Dr. Hawkins resigned from UW Oshkosh.



2002 - UW Oshkosh Foundation Purchases the Newman Center

In 2002, the UW Oshkosh Foundation buys the Newman Center from the Archdiocese, and announced it will be called the Foundation Center as UW Oshkosh determined a name for the building.

2004 - Department Moves to New Location

During Dr. Muriel Hawkins’ time, the Center for Academic Support and Diversity moves into the renovated Foundation Center along with the Women’s Center to a new location from offices in Dempsey and the Wall house. This is where the Wall house truly began as a part of the story of the student services. The Wall house was a choice in 1970 of expediency and has been threatened many times over the years. Its survival is a testament to the love students and staff have for it.

September 29, 2004 - Women's Center Opens

Women’s Center

The Women’s Center exists to serve students, staff, faculty, and community members who are interested in gender equity. Throughout the year, the center hosts and supports a variety of programs, events, services, and resources for the good of UWO’s campus and the greater Oshkosh community

2006 - LGBTQ Resource Center

In 2006, the LGBTQ Education and Advocacy Council put forth the proposal for the LGBTQ Resource Center with the help and support of the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE and other various allies on campus. In the fall of 2008, the Center opened its doors to the UW Oshkosh community in hopes to provide LGBTQ+ programs and services to the community.

December 2006 - UW System Buys the Foundation Center

UW System buys the Foundation Center from the UWO Foundation prompting a name change. Having known this was coming, Dr. Muriel Hawkins and others had been workshopping names.

December 27, 2006 - Campus Center for Equity and Diversity Adopts New Name

Chancellor Wells sends an email to all employees that the Newman Center will be called the Campus Center for Equity and Diversity.

2007-13 - Irma Burgos, Interim Director Campus Center for Academic Support and Diversity

Someone who understood developing and providing student services was Irma Burgos, who started at UWO in 1989. Burgos came to Wisconsin from New York City and began a long career in the department helping underrepresented students. She started as Multicultural Education Center’s Hispanic advisor and then served as interim director of the Campus Center for Equity and Diversity after Dr. Muriel Hawkins left when the campus went several years without an associate vice chancellor. And while her responsibilities grew beyond her initial brief, Burgos celebrated her heritage and continued to be an important resource for Latino students on campus.

Of the many things Burgos cared about was peer mentoring including the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP). Over her long and successful interim period, Burgos also help usher a change of philosophy to inclusive excellence.

2008 - Newman Center Relocates

In December 2008, the Diocese built a smaller building just a block away, where the Newman Center stands today.



2013-19 - Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor/Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence

When it was time for more permanent leadership, UW once again looked to fill the associate vice chancellor (AVC) role with a more permanent individual. Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler came to the position now called the associate vice chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence in 2013. In time she worked to be promoted to assistant chancellor and like Clyde DeBerry argued for in 1973, found a seat in the chancellor’s cabinet.

One of Dr. Carey-Butler’s accomplishments was the reworking of the Titan Advantage Program (TAP), which was created to increase access to the university for first-generation students of color who were predominantly from low socio-economic backgrounds and faced academic challenges in high school.

Dr. Carey-Butler also supported the Men of Color Initiative and repositioned scholarship development as an important part of her portfolio.

Dr. Carey-Butler also helped this campus atone for its approach to the Black Thursday protest and created meaningful relationships with the Oshkosh 94 and a powerful ceremony that showed her knack for combining substance and solemnity with style.

2015 - LGBTQ Resource Center

In January 2015, the LGBTQ Resource Center transitioned into a new and improved space in the Campus Center for Equity and Diversity (CCED). This new space is still located on the lower level of the CCED and now provides a larger, more comfortable area to support the Center’s mission.

2016-17 - Irma Burgos, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor, Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence

Irma Burgos, director of Student Achievement Services, was the natural choice for the interim assistant vice chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence when Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler accepted an American Council on Education fellowship at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, GA. Burgos eagerly accepted the role since she had served in this interim position for seven years (2007-2013).

Burgos remained in the position until the summer of 2017 when Dr. Carey-Butler returned from her fellowship.

December 2018 - McNair Scholars Program Joins ASIE

The McNair Scholars Program has been on campus since 2008. The federally funded TRIO program prepares bright, highly motivated undergraduates from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds for graduate studies.

In 2018, the program, which resides in the Halsey Science Center, joined the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence (ASIE).

February 2019 - LGBTQ Resource Center Updates Name

After a year-long conversation and much debate, a “+” was added to the name of the Center to become the LGBTQ+ Resource Center.

2019-20 - Byron Adams, Interim Assistant Chancellor and Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence

Adams is someone who understands how to help students navigate the rigors and complexities of college because he went through the process of earning both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Adams came to Wisconsin to begin a successful career in higher education providing academic coaching and coordinating and managing programs, which led to various positions within the Division of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence (ASIE). He started as an academic advisor and now serves as director of the Student Achievement Services in the Division of ASIE. After Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler left the University, Byron served as the interim assistant chancellor and associate vice chancellor.

He has dedicated his life to helping students navigate the rigors and complexities of college, along with being an unlimited resource for all students, faculty, and staff. His education, local experiences, and his upbringing helps him understand the needs of today’s student and how they can achieve their full potential and reach academic success.

2020-2022 - Dr. Damira Grady, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence and University Diversity Officer

The associate vice chancellor (AVC) position would be filled formally in 2019 by Dr. Damira Grady. Dr. Grady’s position is a dual role that includes chief diversity officer with a seat on the chancellor’s cabinet.

After a year in the position, Dr. Grady’s position was retitled to associate vice chancellor for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence and university diversity officer.

Dr. Grady led the development of student programs and support services in the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence. She is committed to engaging in purposeful learning and dialogue, shared leadership, and action that serves to ensure a sense of community and belonging for all students–including those who are Black, Brown, Asian and/or Pacific Islander, Latino/a/x/Hispanic, and Indigenous, students who are differently abled or neurodiverse, students who experience poverty, students of different religious faiths, students of different gender and sexual identities, students who are culturally and linguistically diverse, and their intersections. She is also a licensed professional counselor and utilizes those skills to ensure that all programming, policies, and procedures consider the whole student.



October 2022 - McNair Scholars Programs Joined OSP

In October 2022, the program, which resides in the Halsey Science Center, joined the Office of Sponsored Programs.

2022-Present - Byron Adams, Executive Director for Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence and Interim University Diversity Officer

Byron Adams, director of Student Achievement Services, stepped into the familiar role of associate vice chancellor position in 2022.

In January 2023, the position was renamed executive director of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence and Interim University Diversity Officer. 


In this role, Byron will use his knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience to serve UW Oshkosh students including structurally excluded groups comprising first-generation, limited-income, students of color, women of different gender identities, and LGBTQIA2S+ students.

August 2023 - Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence Adopts New Name

Vice Chancellor Erin Grisham announced the official name change of the Division of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence to the Center for Student Success and Belonging at the Leadership Council meeting on Monday, August 28, 2023.




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