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Dr. Terry Nance Recognized by National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education with Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Nance, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Villanova University, was honored for her contribution to diversity and inclusion in higher education

Dr. Terry Nance

VILLANOVA, Pa.—The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) has recognized Dr. Terry Nance, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer and associate professor of Communication at Villanova University, as the recipient of the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. The NADOHR honored Dr. Nance at its annual conference March 9 in Washington, D.C.

The Frank W. Hale, Jr. Award is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves in higher education through “a robust record of consistent service for inclusive excellence; exercising innovative and courageous leadership; serving as a visionary in the field; and exemplifying the philosophy, principles, and practices of NADOHE; and contributing substantially to diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education.” The award is named in memory of Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr., former vice provost for minority affairs and professor at The Ohio State University, and former President of Oakwood University, who is remembered as a tireless crusader for diversity in higher education for 54 years.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me because it come from my peers who know the incredible risks and rewards of doing the hard work of diversity, equity and inclusion in institutions of higher education,” said Dr. Nance. “Working with Villanova to make the changes necessary to ensure that we are receptive and welcoming to all is a continuous process. I am lucky to be at a place where I have so many dedicated and loyal allies who have been with me thorough out my Villanova journey.”

For 40 years, Dr. Nance has served as a teacher, scholar, leader, activist and support system for students, faculty and staff at Villanova University. She was the first Black tenure-track faculty member in Communication at Villanova, where she established an African-American rhetoric course and created the highly sought after multicultural leadership course. As a researcher, Dr. Nance has investigated the perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development, diversity and inclusion, and intergroup dialogue. She is considered a national expert on intercultural communication, dialogic pedagogy, and diversity and inclusion.  

“Dr. Nance’s work during her tenure at Villanova has advanced our University community in countless ways, and her value and contributions to the Villanova cannot be overstated,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “As Villanova’s first Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Nance oversees the University’s efforts to create a welcoming and diverse Villanova community at all levels—students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Nance has been dedicated to service—to her students, the University and the community. She founded Villanova’s MLK Celebration, which now occurs over several days and includes Freedom School—an opportunity for Villanovans to learn from their peers about social justice issues—and later in the week to hear distinguished speakers from the Civil Rights community past and present.

Dr. Nance was named the founding Assistant Vice President for the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA). Under her leadership, Villanova became a founding member of NADOHE. In 2015—to further elevate the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion—Villanova created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) led by Dr. Nance, who was named Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. ODI supports Villanova’s continuing efforts to create a welcoming and diverse community at all levels, including students, faculty, administrators and staff.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit