Remarks by President Ronald M. Berkman at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio Humanitarian Award Dinner


Thank you.

We’re here this evening to present the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s Humanitarian Award to Randell McShepard and Bernie Moreno.

We’ll hear more about our honorees in a moment.

First, let me tell you about the award itself.

For nearly 70 years, the Diversity Center has honored exceptional individuals who have improved relations among diverse groups in Northeast Ohio.

Fittingly, the award winners represent a range of personal and professional backgrounds, but they all share at least one thing in common: extensive involvement in our community.

For the 63rd annual Humanitarian Award Dinner, the Diversity Center could not recognize two more deserving difference-makers.

Randell and Bernie truly embody the Diversity Center’s commitment to cultivating understanding, respect and equity across our region, while eliminating bias, bigotry and racism.

As president of Cleveland State University, I hasten to add that both of these outstanding members of the community have ties to CSU.

Randell earned a master’s degree in urban studies from CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, which later bestowed its Dean’s Distinguished Alumni Award on him.

Bernie currently serves as chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, where he has done yeoman’s work on behalf of the university since 2011.

Congratulations, Randell and Bernie!


Let me also take a moment to recognize two other great friends of Cleveland State University -- Frank Sullivan and Enid Rosenberg -- who will introduce you to our award winners.

The incredibly generous support of Frank Sullivan and his wife, Barbara, has been vital to the establishment of the CSU Sullivan-Deckard Scholars Opportunity Program for students formerly in foster care.

Thank you, Frank and Barbara.

Enid Rosenberg is a long-serving member of the CSU Foundation Board of Directors.

Thank you, Enid.


One year ago, I had the privilege of accepting the Diversity Center’s Humanitarian Award on behalf of Cleveland State University.

At CSU, diversity and inclusion remain integral to everything we do as an institution.

A richness of backgrounds, ideas and perspectives is the lifeblood of our campus community.


This was reflected in the results of the latest National Survey of Student Engagement in which CSU participated.

I’m happy to report that a majority of our students indicated that they “very often” or “often” have discussions with people from diverse backgrounds at CSU, including those with different economic backgrounds, religious beliefs and political views.

These findings were echoed in a survey of our faculty.


Diversity and inclusion are among the key assets that make CSU a best-in-class urban university.

According to a data-driven study by the Brookings Institution, CSU is No. 18 in the U.S. among public universities that fulfill a critical dual mission: providing upward mobility AND conducting vital research.

CSU is the only Ohio university in the top tier of the Brookings list.

We offer access to many low-income students – nearly 11 percent of our total enrollment.

At the same time, our cutting-edge research enterprise encompasses a broad range of fields, from gene regulation to population dynamics.

When it comes to improving lives and expanding knowledge, CSU is proud to be counted among the best of the best.

We could not fulfill this mission without diversity and inclusion at the very core of our identity as an institution.

It’s gratifying to be here tonight with all of you, who no doubt share these core values.

Thank you.