Tacoma, Wash. – Degrees of Change is proud to announce Saint Martin’s University as the newest college partner in Act Six, a leadership development and scholarship initiative that identifies, trains and supports the region’s most promising urban students as transformative campus and community leaders. As an Act Six partner, Saint Martin’s will provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships for a cohort of seven diverse urban leaders from across the Puget Sound each year.

An independent, four-year, Benedictine university located in Lacey, Washington, Saint Martin’s University joins Gonzaga University, Northwest University, Pacific Lutheran University and Whitworth University to become the fifth college partner in the Tacoma-Seattle Act Six network, increasing to 29 the number of Act Six scholars selected annually across the region.

“We are excited to join the Act Six network. With a longstanding commitment to diversity and equity, centered on our Benedictine values of community and respect for others, Saint Martin’s recognizes the talent and leadership of the diverse students in our region’s urban communities. We are eager to leverage the university’s educational resources as an investment in the next generation of leadership for our surrounding cities,” says Saint Martin’s President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D.

Degrees of Change President Tim Herron, Ed.D., adds, “Saint Martin’s is an exceptional local university with a strong track record of serving underrepresented students and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Act Six network. Saint Martin’s will offer a unique and powerful educational experience for Act Six scholars. Given the close alignment of the university’s mission with the mission of Degrees of Change, we look forward to joining forces to invest even more deeply in transformative leaders for our urban communities.”

Students interested in Act Six at Saint Martin’s can apply online at by November 6, 2018. The first cohort of Saint Martin’s Act Six scholars will be announced in March and enroll in fall 2019.


About Act Six

Act Six is a cohort-based, leadership development and scholarship program develops urban leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception in 2002, more than 800 ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholarship recipients from Tacoma, Seattle, Yakima and Spokane, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn.; Chicago, Il.; and Indianapolis, Ind. have enrolled at thirteen private colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:

  1. Recruit and select diverse, multicultural cadres of the most promising urban and community student leaders.
  2. Train and prepare these groups of students in the year prior to college, equipping them to support each other, succeed academically and grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
  3. Send and fund the cadres together to select faith- and social justice-based colleges on full-tuition, full-need scholarships.
  4. Support and inspire by providing strong campus support, ongoing leadership development and vocational connections to inspire scholars to serve their home communities.

While 87% of Act Six scholars come from low-income families or are the first generation in their family to attend college, 82% percent earn their bachelor’s degrees within six years, more than doubling the rate for low-income, first-generation students nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of the program’s graduates are working or serving back in their home communities and among alumni who have been out of college for three or more years, 31% have earned a post-graduate degree or credential. Learn more about Act Six at

About Degrees of Change

Degrees of Change is a not-for-profit organization based in Tacoma, Washington, that prepares diverse, homegrown leaders to succeed in college and use their degrees to build more vibrant and equitable communities. Degrees of Change partners with community organizations, high schools, colleges and employers to provide cohort-based leadership training, college success support, career development and alumni programming to underrepresented students who desire to lead and serve their home communities. As both a national backbone organization and local, direct service provider in Tacoma-Seattle, Degrees of Change provides and utilizes research-based programming, cutting-edge evaluation and data tools, and innovative operational systems and technical assistance to support all aspects of its integrated programs. Learn more at

About Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Learn more at


Tim Herron, Ed.D., Act Six Founder and President, Degrees of Change
(253) 444-0010,

Kevin Hyde, Media Relations Manager, Saint Martin’s University
(360) 412-6126,