Three Freshmen, 1961

President Pitzer doesn’t look totally comfortable, does he? The students, though, seem quite at ease:

Pitzer really was brand new to campus, having arrived only at the beginning of the month. Within a couple weeks of this image being taken he attended his first board meeting as president. The final issue on the agenda that day was the approval of the Atomic Energy Commission research grant that he brought with him from Berkeley. Normally this would be handled by the Academic Affairs Committee, then chaired by Newton Rayzor, but Rayzor and board chair George Brown insisted it be addressed by the full board. The reason for this departure from normal procedures was the non-discrimination clauses in the contract, which forbade discrimination in admissions based on race. After discussion (the contents of which are not recorded) the board voted to approve acceptance of the grant. They also authorized their lawyers to begin working on how to accomplish the desegregation of the university. To Pitzer it must have seemed that things were off to a flying start. It would not, however, be quite so simple.

Bonus: For good or for ill the campus is showing renewed signs of life this week. I even saw several students walking around with face masks and backpacks. This, though, truly saddened me. I’ve gotten so much pleasure over the years from seeing the joy of the brides and grooms, the quiceañera celebrants, and the graduates of varied and sundry institutions of learning. I hope they can come back soon.

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2 Responses to Three Freshmen, 1961

  1. grungy1973 says:

    They made reservations?

  2. Stephen Baker says:

    A propos of Pitzer’s unease with students, I recall urging my also-then-young colleague Ian Duck to accompany me to a meeting of the faculty, where Pitzer was scheduled to speak. Said Ian, “I can’t go to the meeting; every time I am in the audience, Pitzer gets nervous.”

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