Fisher alumnus named senior diversity officer

Stock photo.

St. John Fisher College named Marlowe Washington, an alumnus of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. School of Education’s Doctor of Executive Leadership program, as its senior diversity officer.

Washington will oversee efforts supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. He will collaborate with college stakeholders and operationalize strategic plan goals to develop cultural competency skill sets, diversify the campus through recruitment and retention efforts, strengthen relationships with community leaders and cultivate an environment that supports belonging.

“Marlowe has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion,” President Gerard Rooney said. “As a proud graduate of Fisher, he has a keen understanding of both our history and our culture, as well as our current work on these important issues. His experience in this field with other institutions has given him a strong basis to help us to continue our progress in this important work, incorporating the many recommendations brought forth by our task force and creating an inclusively excellent campus community that fosters a sense of welcoming and belonging for all.”

Washington brings nearly 30 years of urban-based executive, community and transformational leadership to the college, having served pastoral appointments, as an adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan College and as a member of nonprofit boards.

His dissertation at Fisher focused on executive leadership in higher education, with a concentration on diversity and inclusion. He joined Fisher’s Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Equity in 2019. 

“On Day One, May 13, 2016, my cohort class and I were told within minutes in our new classroom at the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. School of Education’s Ed.D. program a three-word mantra to simply ‘Trust the Process,’” Washington said. “Exactly five years later, all I can say is it is like a prophecy turning real. 

“Returning to my beloved Fisher has created an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement I cannot explain. I am deeply humbled to serve the campus community, along with external partners, to ensure all constituent members have the same opportunities on campus, and that all experience the same sense of worth and belonging. Joining Dr. Rooney and his amazing team creates the synergy I need to harness diverse and inclusive insights that fuel innovation and create value for everyone. I am ready to activate this purposeful vision.”

Washington holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, a master’s from the New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan and a Doctor of Ministry from Northeastern Seminary. He earned his doctorate from Fisher in 2019.