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History of Diversity at the University of Rochester

This brief historical summary is a distillation of events and recommendations, beginning with the most recent reports on Diversity and leading back through our history. For more details and information on these events please refer to the full reports linked below. Photographs, letters, and newspaper articles (unless otherwise noted) are courtesy of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections University of Rochester Library.

  • 2011-Present
    2016, May
    President Seligman issues the Tenth Annual Report on Diversity, May 2016March 8, 2016
    Yik Yak asks users to create user names in a step away from anonymity
    Yik Yak, the anonymous social network, is asking users to create user names. Starting today, users will be asked to create “handles” that they can optionally attach to their posts. The handles, which do not have to include users’ real names, will be turned on by default for every post. The move could help strengthen Yik Yak communities by making their best contributors more visible and trusted. Another benefit of adopting user names could be to increase accountability on a service that is often criticized for the anonymous abuse and threats it has enabled.
    Read more in The Verge >>
    Read more in International Business Times >>March 1, 2016
    Focus Groups on Faculty Promotion Memorandum presented

    March 4-6, 2016
    Students Organize National Summit to Unite Black College Leaders

    February 3, 2016
    Commission Presents Interim Report
    On January 31, the Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity provided its interim report to President and CEO Joel Seligman based on its charge to assess issues of race and diversity at the University. Established this past November by Seligman in response to a petition from several student groups, as well as events involving students, faculty, and staff on campus and beyond, the commission is chaired by Paul Burgett, vice president and senior advisor to the president, and Richard Feldman, dean of the College, and includes faculty, students, administrators, and staff. President Seligman has issued his response to the interim report and expressed his gratitude to the commission for their hard and dedicated work.
    Read the full report (.pdf) >>
    President Seligman’s response >>

    December 11, 2015
    Commission Town Hall on Yik Yak
    3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, December 11
    Gowen Room, Wilson Commons
    The University community is invited to a forum about the social media application Yik Yak. Paul Burgett, vice president, senior advisor to the president, and cochair of the Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity, will moderate the forum. A brief panel discussion will be followed by an open discussion.
    Background briefing on Yik Yak issues >>

    December 3, 2015
    Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity Meets
    A new commission charged with assessing issues of race and diversity at the University will hold its first meeting today. Established by President and CEO Joel Seligman in his message to the community on November 23 in response to a petition from several student groups, the commission is chaired by Paul Burgett, vice president and senior advisor to the president, and Richard Feldman, dean of the College, and includes faculty, students, administrators, and staff.

    Seligman will formally deliver the charge to the commission at the first meeting, during which the commission will also address organizational issues, methods for collecting input from the University community, including town hall meetings, data gathering and analysis, and communications. The commission will issue a preliminary report by the end of January and present a final report by the end of the spring semester.

    November 23, 2015
    President Joel Seligman Response to November 20 Student Petition
    “Ten years ago, I began my service here, emphasizing that diversity is a core value of our University. I meant by that respect for all students, faculty and staff regardless of race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or beliefs. Our aspiration is to create a University that is welcoming and supportive of all in our community. … I cannot ignore evidence that our campus climate can be improved.” Read the complete response >>

    November 20, 2015
    Students demand better racial climate at the University
    About 150 students and supporters marched peacefully across the River Campus on Friday to demand that “the University of Rochester’s administration implement immediate and lasting changes that will reduce intolerable acts of racism that students of color endure at our University.” Read more >>

    2015, May
    President Seligman issues the Ninth Annual Report on Diversity, May 2015

    2014, May
    President Seligman issues the Eighth Annual Report on Diversity, May 2014

    2013, May
    President Seligman issues the Seventh Annual Report on Diversity, May 2013

    2012-2013
    A report on our 2012 participation in the Collaboration on Academic Careers in Higher Education faculty satisfaction survey.

    As part of our commitment to meeting the professional needs of our faculty, the University of Rochester joined the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) for the second time in the 2012-13 academic year. Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, COACHE is a comprehensive survey of faculty life that was given to pre tenure and tenured faculty of the entire University, with the exception of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The survey includes questions about: the nature of work (teaching, research, and service), faculty satisfaction with institutional governance and promotion processes; satisfaction with personal and family supports; levels of climate and collegiality; and other aspects of faculty life.The Office for Faculty Development and Diversity is pleased to share this summary of the report’s findings here. A comprehensive report can be found through the Faculty Senate webpage.For more information about COACHE, click here.

    2012, May
    President Seligman issues the Sixth Annual Report on Diversity, May, 2012

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  • 2001-2011: Strategic Changes
    2011, May
    President Seligman issues the Fifth Annual Report on Diversity, May 2011In his fifth annual diversity report, President Joel Seligman says “Our task as a University is to welcome all to join our community based on their talents. I am convinced that progress in achieving greater diversity is vital to our success as a great research University. I am gratified to be associated with a University where a commitment to diversity is consistently reflected in the decisions of our Board and our senior leadership.”2011, April 29
    Second Annual Diversity Conference: Why Diversity?

    2011
    Presidential Diversity Award Recipients Announced
    The Department of Microbiology and Immunology, led by chair Stephen Dewhurst, and the undergraduate student group University of Rochester Genocide Intervention (URGI) have been named the 2011 Presidential Diversity Award recipients. Both awardees were chosen for their “exemplary contributions to the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts.” The Department of Microbiology and Immunology was praised for its commitment to mentoring minority students while URGI was recognized for its success at increasing meaningful campus dialogue about diversity through creative programming.

    2010, May
    President Seligman issues the Fourth Annual Report on Diversity, May 2010

    In his fourth annual diversity report, President Seligman says that although the University numbers “last year remained relatively static during an economic recession, if I’ve learned one thing about diversity more than anything else, it is that numbers are at most a starting point. What matters is the story behind the numbers, the dynamic, the integrity of the effort, the commitment to progress, and in that sense we’re starting to move in the right direction.”

    2010, April 5
    First Annual Diversity Conference: Building a Stronger Community

    2010, January
    First Presidential Diversity Award Recipients Announced
    Latino Professional Alliance, David T. Kearns Center, and Dr. John Hansen named inaugural winners for their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    2009, December
    Report Assesses Faculty Diversity Initiative
    President Joel Seligman today released a report assessing the University’s progress in strengthening faculty diversity and inclusiveness since the creation of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity in January 2007. The report is based on in-depth interviews conducted by former Deputy to the President and Vice Provost Lynne Davidson, University Intercessor Frederick Jefferson, and Senior Associate Provost Carol Shuherk with 94 faculty members in all schools and three town hall meetings. It details 14 recommendations to improve faculty retention and recruitment. “All of us are fully committed to the objective of achieving a campus that is diverse and inclusive, where all members of our community feel welcomed and supported, and where a commitment to diversity and academic excellence progress hand-in-hand,” says President Seligman. (Posted December 1, 2009)

    2009, October
    Vivian Lewis to Lead University’s Diversity Efforts
    Beginning Oct. 1 and for the balance of the academic year, Vivian Lewis will serve as acting deputy to the president and acting vice provost for faculty development and diversity. Lynne Davidson will step down from the post Oct. 1. President Seligman thanked Davidson for the “magnificent job” she has done, saying “she has been pivotal in chairing our 2006 Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness and in implementing its 31 recommendations. I look forward to Vivian’s contributions to further strengthen diversity initiatives at the University.”

    2009, July
    The University’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has launched the Rochester Black Freedom Struggle Oral History Project. The library has recorded and will soon make available online interviews with more than 20 key players from Rochester’s fight against racial discrimination during the 1960s and 1970s.

    2009, May
    President Seligman issues the Third Annual Report on Diversity

    In his third annual diversity report, President Seligman says the University is making “continued progress” in efforts to be a more diverse and welcoming community. “Our task as a University is to welcome all to join our community based on their talents. This task is not a simple one and there will be setbacks and challenges along the way. But I am convinced that progress in achieving greater diversity is vital to our success as a great research University,” Seligman says.

    2008, May
    President Seligman issues the Second Annual Report on Diversity

    The 2007–2008 academic year saw small, but measurable progress in the University of Rochester’s efforts to be a more diverse and welcoming community. While I am pleased with the progress so far, we still have far to go. To accelerate these efforts, I have asked Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity Lynne Davidson to work full time on diversity and inclusiveness issues beginning July 1, 2008.

    2007, June
    President Seligman issues the First Annual Report on Diversity

    I am delighted to provide the University of Rochester community the First Annual Report on Diversity. During the 2006-07 academic year, the University of Rochester began a new faculty diversity initiative and continued to make progress on an existing staff diversity program and various school-based efforts to increase the diversity of our student population. Because the faculty effort is the newest element of the University’s overall diversity and inclusion program, this report focuses primarily on that component.

    2006, October 17
    President Seligman’s response to the 2006 Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness Report

    2006, October 10
    Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness Report

    2006, February
    President Seligman’s Presentation to the Faculty Senate, the Announcement of Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness, and the Charge of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness

    2005
    Statement of Educational Philosophy

    In 2005, responding to two Supreme Court decisions in cases involving the University of Michigan, the UR created and the Board of Trustees approved a Statement of Educational Philosophy that affirms the need for a diverse student body, faculty, and staff at the University of Rochester.

    2005
    PAS 50+ Initiative

    The Office of Human Resources began the PAS 50 + Initiative, which focuses on recruitment and retention of minorities to fill professional, administrative, and supervisory roles in positions of pay grade 50 and higher.

    2002
    College Diversity Roundtable Submitted Recommendations Addressing Acts of Intolerance

    2002, February 26
    Comments from President Jackson and Provost Phelps on Incidents of Graffiti and Vandalism

    2001, October 8
    President’s Memorandum on Senior Staff Diversity

     

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  • 1992-2000: The Fight Grows Stronger
    1999-2000
    Founding of the College Diversity Roundtable (CDR)The College Diversity Roundtable (CDR) Committee, appointed by the Dean of the College, is charged with establishing an educational forum/exchange by which diversity (in all its complexity and multifaceted dimensions) can be supported and affirmed. The CDR is structured as a student-centered task force where campus climate and quality of life issues and/or concerns can be voiced, heard and acted upon, especially those affected racial, ethnic, and cultural groups on campus. Moreover, the Diversity Roundtable can also serve as a focal point for diversity discussions, initiatives and best practices within The College. The Roundtable Committee consists of faculty, staff, and students.1999, November 16
    Provost’s Memorandum on Diversity in Faculty Recruiting

    1999, November 3
    President’s Memorandum on Senior Staff Diversity

    1999, August 30
    “Jackson Issues Staff Diversity Directives” (Currents)

    1999, August 2
    “University Starts Diversity Initiatives” (Currents)

    1999
    “The Safe Zone Campaign” A University-wide program (developed by undergraduate students) intended to provide support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals and allies.

    1999
    Response to RCC Diversity Subcommittee Report

    1999, March
    The Residential College Commission Sub-Committee on Diversity (RCCD) reported on the state of diversity, particularly in the College, and made fifteen recommendations on topics regarding diversity both within the College and University-wide. Of the fifteen recommendations, eight have been implemented, including the creation of a mission statement on diversity, the revitalization of the Frederick Douglass Institute, and the implementation of diversity programming in orientation and residential life.

    1999, March 18
    “After Sit-In, U. Rochester Agrees to Recruit More Minorities”

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A four-hour sit-in here by about 200 University of Rochester students resulted in an agreement with administrators to seek more minority students.

    Of 4,262 full-time undergraduates, there are 249 African American and 190 Latino students, making up about 5 and 4 percent, respectively.

    After the sit-in outside the president’s office, administrators agreed to a series of demands to improve the academic and cultural life of minority students, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. The university agreed to spend more money, to try harder to recruit minority students and faculty, and to involve students more in school decisions.

    Protesters say they staged the sit-in after several meetings with officials failed to bring the action they sought, reports WXXI Radio.

    The agreement includes a commitment by the university to devise a diversity mission statement, hire a staff member to recruit minority students, and draft a plan to hire more diverse faculty and staff. (Black Issues in Higher Education)

    1999
    Student Sit-in as Reported in the Rochester Review

    “Finding Common Ground ” (President’s Page)

    1999
    “Rochester in Review, Sit-in”

    “Students concerned over diversity issues on campus staged a peaceful sit-in outside the president’s office in February. About 200 undergraduates participated in the four-hour demonstration, which ended when students and administration put on record their mutually agreed-upon aims about several issues, principal among which were recruitment of minority students and faculty and enhancement of academic and cultural life for minorities. “A lot of what the students are asking for was already under way,” said Robert Kraus, associate vice president for public relations, adding that ongoing meetings on the subject would improve communications on continuing progress. The demonstration was the first of its kind since the mid-1980s.” (Rochester Review)

    1999, March 5
    “U. of Rochester Officials Yield to Protesters” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

    1999, February 22
    A group of University of Rochester minority undergraduate students, many of them members of the Black Student Union, led a sit-in in the office of Thomas H. Jackson, the University’s ninth president. As a result of that peaceful protest, the University administration agreed to develop a mission statement on diversity, to permanently increase the recruitment of minority students in The College, to appoint students to the Dean’s Advisory Committee on University Programs in African and African American Studies and the Frederick Douglass Institute, to foster increased diversity in academic and cultural programming throughout the University, and to create a plan for the increased recruitment of minority faculty and staff. Some progress has been made in most of the identified areas; the University has seen very little progress, however, in the area of minority faculty recruitment. (RCCD)

    1992
    The Eaves Report (Report of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Report on Minority Issues.)

    Proposed by President O’Brien and established by the Faculty Senate in 1990, this committee examined the issue of recruitment and retention of minority graduate students and faculty. The report urged the Faculty Senate, President and administration to develop “systematic oversight and clearly articulated effective incentives” to improve the recruitment and retention of minority faculty and graduate students. The report also urged the development of “mentoring systems” for untenured faculty and improved connections with the Rochester community.

     

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  • 1980-1989: Stepping into Change
    1989
    “Towards the Future of Minority Student Affairs: A Discussion Paper”The Directors of the Frederick Douglass Institute and the Office of Minority Student Affairs were the principal authors of this paper, which called for a greater integration of effort in all facets of the University in pursuing the goal of achieving a more diverse and welcoming community. The “Discussion Paper” posed the problem as follows: “There is an urgent need to enhance the cultural sensitivity of all students and to increase their sophistication about the diverse human world in which they will live out their lives. Consciously accommodating diversity should also be the business of faculty, administrators, staff members, and service persons – and of all administrative units. It should not be left to OMSA, the Frederick Douglass Institute, the International Student Office, and the Office of University and Community Affairs….The issues surrounding diversity and multicultural community are far too complex for any one office or set of offices alone.” (RCCD)1987, November
    SALSAThe College’s Spanish and Latino Students’ Association (S.A.L.S.A.) was formed in November of 1987 by Edward Chafart. He acted as president of the organization for the 1987-1988 academic year. That first year also marked the inception of annual Tropicana events. Find a brief history here.

    1986
    The University established the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s studies and an undergraduate major and minor in women’s studies was established.

    The Susan B. Anthony Institute, home of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program, was named in honor of the 19th century suffragist who led a successful campaign for the enrollment of women to the UR in 1900. SBAI generates interdisciplinary research in gender and women’s studies through grants, seminars and lectures.

    1985
    The College’s Student Association for Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinents (ADITI) was founded.

    1985, March 15
    University of Rochester Currents “Statement on Minority Relations at the University of Rochester” (printable version) It includes a “Memorandum of Agreement”, a “Memorandum on Minority Relations” from President O’Brien, a “Memorandum to President O’Brien from the African-American Education Oversight Commission,”and the “University’s Affirmative Action Plan.”

    1985, April 10
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 11, No. 4 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Rodnell E. Claboine is the first black student elected as Student Association President.

    1984
    “Community Relations Committee Paper”

    President Dennis O’Brien appointed a 17 member ;Community Relations Committee consisting of representatives of the black community, alumni, student groups, UR faculty, and administrators to consider the following: African American Studies; recruitment of minority faculty, staff and students; support services; security services; and student judicial procedures. One significant result from the work of this committee was the creation of the Frederick Douglass Institute. (RCCD)

    1983, November 11
    “A Statement from the Provost: Blacks and the University” (Currents)

    1983, July 1
    Black Students’ Union and Pan-Afrikan Graduate Students’ Association Special Report: An Assessment of the University of Rochester. Published by the BSU and PAGSA

    1983, April 22
    Positive Action Encouraged in Race Relations (Campus Times)

    1983, April 15
    Race Relations Surveyors Invite Debate (Campus Times)

    1983, April 15
    Students, Dean to Collaborate on Black Studies Program (Campus Times)

    1983, April 13
    Senate Approves Final Budget with Minor Change (Campus Times)

    1983, April 4
    Controversy Surrounds SAAC Final Budget (Campus Times)

    1983, March 25
    Students Comment on African-American Concerns (Campus Times)

    1983, March 25
    Black Student “Sought” by UR Security Force (Campus Times)

    1983, March 23
    UR and Urban League Offer Scholarship (Campus Times)

    1983, March 23
    Racial Misunderstanding Persists at the UR (Campus Times)

    1983, March 18
    Provost Outlines Gains for Minorities at the UR (Campus Times)

    1983, February 25
    Segall Offers Support to Black Students’ Union (Campus Times)

    grapevine2.18.83

    1983, February 18
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 1, No.1 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Special Edition Institutional Racism: Passing the Buck

    1983, February 16
    Students Analyze Racism on UR Campus (Campus Times)

    1983, February 16
    BSU Attacks SAAC Budgetary Decision (Campus Times)

    1983, February 11
    BSU Reacts Angrily to Cuts From Proposed Budget SAAC Funds One Third of BSU Request (Campus Times)

    1983, February 11
    Sproull Hears Complaints at BSU Meeting (Campus Times)

    1983, February 4
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.13 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: University of Rochester’s Revolving Door: Problems of the Minority Community Part III- As the Door Turns

    1983, January 28
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.12 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: University of Rochester’s Revolving Door: Problems of the Minority Community Part II- Landmarks

    1983
    “The Gifford Report: Study on Race Relations at the University of Rochester”

    Over 600 students participated in the study which surveyed pre-university interracial experiences, defensiveness, interracial interactions, prejudices and stereotyping, attitudes about racial groups, and attitudes about University policies and curriculum. The study concluded: “…minority and non-minority freshman students may need an initial period for adjusting to each other. We suggest that the University take steps to aid this adjustment. These steps could include promoting interracial interaction during freshman orientation and during the first weeks of classes….Resident advisors may be particularly useful for this purpose: we therefore recommend that they receive training in skills and techniques for promoting interracial interaction. Minority resident advisors may be particularly useful as role models for both minority and white students: we therefore recommend that their number be increased.” (Gifford Report, RCCD)

    1982, December 3
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.10 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: The Provost Meets with the BSU.

    grapevine12.3.1982

    1982, April 23
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.10 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: University Attacks Attrition Among Minorities

    1982, January 21
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.11 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: University of Rochester’s Revolving Door: Problems of the Minority Community Part I- The Open Door

    1982
    The women’s studies program officially opened.

    1980, November 14
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 10, No.10 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: The Future of Black Education at the University of Rochester.

    1980, October 31
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 8, No.10 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Kwame Ture, The Former Stokely Carmichael, Speaks at UR.

    1980
    The College’s Korean American Student’s Association (KASA) was founded.

    1980
    The University launched a concentration in women’s studies. Click here for a brief history of the Susan B. Anthony Institute.

     

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  • 1968-1979: Powerful Forces
    1979, October 26
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 7, No.8 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: The Assimilation of Latins at the U of R.1979, March 30
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 6, No. 24 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Alumni Reunion a Success.1979, February 23
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 6, No. 20 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Alumni Reunion: What it should mean to us.

    1979, January 26
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 6, No. 16 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: BSU elects new Officers

    grapevine1.26.1979

    1978, March 24
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 5, No. 23 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Marchers protest loans to South Africa

    1978, January 20
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 5, No. 23 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: MLK Memorial Celebration Held

    1978
    Provost O’Brien Initiatives

    From 1979-1981, Provost Richard O’Brien championed the following initiatives: formed a Council For Minority Education; formed a Task Force on Affirmative Action; established closer working relationships with black students in the Black Students Union, as members of the Provost’s Undergraduate Council; worked with an Alumni Committee on Minority Enrollment which helped form a close relationship with the Urban League and led to the creation of twenty special scholarships for minority students; helped recruit an outstanding black alumnus, Bernard Gifford, as Vice President for Student Affairs. (RCCD Report)

    1977, November 11
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 5, No. 9 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Parents Weekend

    grapevine parents weekend

    1977, September 23
    The University’s Department of Special Student Services produced Volume 5, No. 3 of the “Grapevine”
    Headline: Julian Bond delivered a lecture Sunday night at the U of R.

    julian bond

     

    1975, October 17
    The University’s Educational Opportunity Program produced Volume 3, No. 2 of the “Grapevine”

    1973
    The Grapevine, a publication of the Office of Minority Student Affairs ,was first published “for the purpose of providing the minority community with a voice for their concerns.”

    1973
    Review of the Educational Opportunity Program The University administration undertook a systematic review of the EOP. A three-member committee consisting of President Sproull, Vice President Dowd and Associate Dean Goldberg headed the effort. In a progress report to the faculty senate in March, Goldberg emphasized appropriate criteria for admission and the merits of the pre-freshman summer program. In July, the administration hired a new EOP director, Dr. Frederick Jefferson, its fifth director in five years. (RCCD Report)

    1969
    The College’s Gay Academic Union was originally founded. It later became the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Friends Association of the University of Rochester and is now known as the Pride Network. pride

    1969, March 14
    BSU Sit-in Informational Packet Sent to Alumni

    Including:

    • A background statement issued to the members of the BSU by Provost Sproull on March 7
    • The text of the statement issued to the press by the BSU at the conclusion of the sit-in on March 10
    • The text of a statement issued to the Press by the University at the conclusion of the sit-in.

    1969, March 11
    BSU Sit-in Informational Packet Sent to Alumni

    1969

    campustimesbsu1969
    Click Here to See Article


    bsuafterfdbtakeover

    Statements from the Office of Public Relations

    March 10 Statement announcing that normal use of the third and fourth floors of the Frederick Douglass building is expected to being tomorrow (Tuesday) following the evacuation of those floors, which the Black Students Union has held since last Tuesday night. (March 4)

    March 7 Statement regarding the sub-committee (including 2 members of the BSU) that was created within the committee on Academic Policy

    March 6 Statement regarding meetings with the Black Students Union

    1969, March 4-11
    Black Students Union Takeover

    The Black Students Union led a six-day takeover of the third and fourth floors of the Frederick Douglass Building (the location of the former Faculty Club). Student demands included: hiring of a minority admissions recruiter, recruitment of a greater number of black students, providing black studies in the curriculum, improved services to the local black community, and improved opportunities for the University’s own black employees. (RCCD Report)

    1968
    Educational Opportunity Program

    The University established the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and admitted the first cohort of students of color who would receive targeted academic and social support services. These services and programs are administered today through the Office of Minority Student Affairs, HEOP. (RCCD Report)

    1968, April 9

    urking
    mlkgifford

    Campus Times Students March – Black Students Organize, Hold Teach-in

     

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  • 1925-1955: Change Is on the Horizon
    1955, February 23
    Dr. John Hope Franklin lectures on dissent/free speech at intellectual institutionsJHFranklinDr. John Hope Franklin visited the UR on February 23, 1955, and gave a lecture in Strong Memorial Hospital on dissent/free speech at intellectual institutions. The text of the lecture was reprinted, with Franklin’s permission, in the Campus Times on February 25, 1955.

    1948
    Dr. Kathrine Koller was appointed to the post of chairman of the English department, the first woman in the history of the College of Arts and Sciences to hold the chair of a major department.

    kkoller
    Dr. Kathrine Koller

    1943-1958

    botfirstwoman
    1945 Board of Trustees

    Marianne Warren Fry was the first women to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees. Mrs. Fry, who was on the Board until 1958, is shown in this 1945 group picture of the Trustees.

     

    beatricehoward
    Beatrice Amaza Howard

    1931
    Beatrice Amaza Howard was the first African-American woman to graduate from UR. “Beatrice Amaza Howard First Girl of Colored Race to Graduate at U of R.”

     

    1927
    The first woman to receive a Ph.D. was M. Elizabeth Marsh, who received her doctoral degree in physiology of nutrition.

     

    1925
    The University awarded its first Ph.D to Warren Myron Sperry who received a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

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  • 1900-1920: The Strength of Sue B.
    1910
    Annette Gardner Munro was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from the University of Rochester.1906, March 13
    Susan B. Anthony died.

    1902, September 18
    Note from Susan B. Anthony

    susanbnote

    “Today—I hope will see thirty or forty more than 68—pupils enter the Rochester University. May their numbers increase–until the daughters of the city shall be all thoroughly educated…is the hope of yours sincerely, Susan B. Anthony.” (Written on the occasion of the third class of women entering the University in September, 1902)

    wilcoxen

    Ella Wilcoxen

    1901
    Ella S. Wilcoxen was the first woman to obtain a degree—Ph.B.—at the U of R. She had attended Geneseo State Normal School; after graduation she became a high school teacher and a religious worker. (University of Rochester History by A. J. May)

    1900
    Susan B. Anthony
    Susan B. Anthony convinced the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees that the time had come to admit women into the student body. For more details about women’s struggle for co-education please visit the fully searchable University of Rochester History by A. J. May.

     

    SusanB

     

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  • 1852-1898: The Early Years
    1898
    The first Hispanic student is thought to have been Ivoe De Calesta, Class of 1902.1895, February 20
    Frederick Douglass transcends.1881
    Henry Austin Spencer
    The first African American, Henry Austin Spencer, was admitted into the freshman class.

    spencer

    1879, June 25
    Letter from Frederick Douglass to Samuel Drummond Porter.

    “Douglass thanks Porter for his letter in which Porter had described the presentation of Douglass’s bust to the City of Rochester and speeches made by “eminent gentlemen” (notably Anderson). He expresses his feelings of honor and thanks to Porter and the “Committee”. He speaks of the rise of himself and his race from such a low status in “the most powerful nation in the world”, finishing with his feeling of attachment to the City of Rochester.”

    1854
    Simon Tuska, “… Stranger in the Synagogue is the first published work by a University of Rochester alumnus (published while he was still a student), and he conferred upon the University the distinction of being the first American university to give an alumnus to the rabbinate.”

    1852, July 5
    Frederick Douglass “4th of July” Speech
    Oration, Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, by Frederick Douglass

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