Natara Gray Named Berklee's Inaugural Dean of Admissions, Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment
Berklee College of Music has named Natara Gray as its first assistant dean of admissions, diversity and inclusion recruitment. Her initial focus will be improving the college’s recruitment and retention of Black and African American students.
Gray has more than 12 years of higher education experience in student affairs, admissions, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, she served as director of undergraduate admissions and diversity outreach at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. In this role, she led a team of 10, cultivated external partnerships, and was directly responsible for the school's overall admissions and recruitment process.
“Natara comes to Berklee with a depth of experience and an understanding of the importance of Berklee's diversity and inclusion recruitment efforts,” said Damien Bracken, the college's dean of admissions. “Her life’s work and passion is to provide educational access and opportunities to underrepresented and underserved communities, and she has a true appreciation for the power of music and the arts to transform lives for the better. I'm excited to partner with Natara on this important work.”
We are born into many of our identities, and they are our assets, not our barriers.
A native of Wareham, Massachusetts, Gray began her college experience in 2001 as a first-generation college student at Bridgewater State University, working three jobs to support herself, but she left the school before obtaining her degree to pursue a music career in Florida. She later returned to Bridgewater State, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 2014 while also working full-time in the university's Center for Multicultural Affairs.
“I am beyond blessed to have an opportunity to work at a place I have appreciated and respected for so many years. Music is our soul’s way of communicating with or without words, and it’s a universal language that both unites and bonds us," said Gray. "We are born into many of our identities, and they are our assets, not our barriers. Our team and the entire Berklee community are committed to making sure all voices have a seat at the table. You don’t find that everywhere and I am both honored and humbled to be working alongside such passionate and dedicated people.”
Gray previously served as associate director for student diversity, inclusion, and undergraduate admission at Babson College, where she oversaw recruitment initiatives and led diversity training for all admissions staff as a certified implicit bias and bystander intervention facilitator. Prior to Babson, she was assistant director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB) at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she played a vital role in admissions, financial aid, and on the school’s diversity committee. She also managed the Public Policy Leadership Conference (PPLC), a program dedicated to underrepresented and underserved first- and second-year undergraduate students.
A wife and mother of two, Gray is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration at Northeastern University.