This Week in the Archive: Against the Norm–T. Eugene West and His Neighbor, The Nisei

by Joshua Kim

(A Nisei is a person of Japanese descent born in the U.S. with immigrant parents. Nisei directly translates to “second generation” in Japanese.)

“At the outbreak of the war, 112,000 of these good people were taken from their homes, businesses, farms, schools, and churches and put into ten relocation camps throughout the midwest. Of these there were 70,000 American citizens by birth.” T. Eugene West, University of Richmond Class of 1927.

In his piece for the Richmond Alumni Bulletin, alum T. Eugene West passionately spoke on behalf of the Japanese American community and the horrors they faced during WWII, specifically the repercussions of Executive Order 9066.

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This Week in the Archive: 1964-1965 President’s Report

By Jennifer Munnings

The 1964-1965 President’s Report highlights the first year of the Junior College’s establishment under University College. University College was formed in 1961, and the intention to develop the Junior College was expressed the same year by the Board of Trustees. Given that the Board of Trustees minutes are sealed indefinitely, the true intention behind the formation of University College and the Junior College is based on educated guesses, and published documents. The President’s Report report says on the formation of the Junior College: “This division was established to provide a two-year daytime liberal arts program for Richmond-area students who could not enroll in Richmond and Westhampton Colleges.”  Historical context suggests that part of the reason University College and subsequently the Junior College were instituted was as a means to continue to receive federal funding without integrating the main campus.

Although the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education was targeted at public institutions, private universities, like University of Richmond, that resisted integration were in danger of losing funding and being penalized. The University’s failure to desegregate resulted in the centering of the T. C. Williams School of Law by the Association of American Law Schools. On June 8th 1964 Walter Carpenter became the first black man to graduate from University College although University of Richmond had not announced that it would integrate until that same semester. There were also twelve black students whose names are unknown that were enrolled in night courses. So, what prompted the public announcement of its integration? And, who are the populations that Richmond and Westhampton College cannot serve?

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This Week in the Archive: SOBA and Progress

by Dominique Harrington

When I’ve attempted to explain to people what I’ve been doing this summer, I’ve gotten a few typical responses.  First, I get the generic, “That’s so cool! Good luck!”  The next one provokes more of a conversation, “That’s interesting, but what’s the point?”  However, the response I’ve received most frequently is, “Wow, that must be pretty depressing!”  When I explain that I am grappling with the University of Richmond’s racial history, I think they probably thought that I would be faced with more violent instances of racism during the Jim Crow era.  However, I’ve mostly gone through letters to President Modlin and Academic Departmental Reports; I haven’t witnessed anything as egregious as one might expect in the former capital of the Confederacy from 1946-1971.  Still, I’ve found myself quite disheartened more times than I anticipated — not because of what I saw, but because of what I didn’t see: progress.

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