Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 1, Page 47
Fall 1991
Letters to the Editor

     It has been some 17 years since I graduated from the University
of Delaware, and I'm sure times have changed. The winter issue of the
University of Delaware Magazine featuring "Unfinished Business"
regarding black enrollment, etc., was quite interesting yet quite
disturbing as well.
     A common concern that seemed to be consistently expressed by
students was their desire for campus life to represent diversity in
society. Although somewhat altruistic, this desire should be applauded
for, if achieved, the lives of these young people will be much
     Unfortunately, another common thread that ran through the article
was the "need" for black groups: Black Student Union, Black Student
Nurses Association, Black Graduate Student Association, the Black
Voice newspaper, etc.
     I sensed major contradictions in attempting to create equality
and diversity while "endorsing" black groups. Even some black students
expressed their discomfort. Miss Tia Conquest expressed the confusion
quite accurately, I believe, when she said, " just increased the
separateness more than anything else."
     Imagine the increased confusion and separatism should we take an
eraser to the word "black" in the aforementioned groups and pen in the
word "white." ... Maybe colleges and society in general will never be
able to embrace racial harmony and equality. I think our chances are
slim if we continue to inadvertently promote the separatist concept in
these subliminal ways.

          Philip E. Catron,
          Delaware '73
          Frederick, Md.

     I read with interest the excellent article "Unfinished Business"
in the current issue and wish to point out an error that does
injustice to the University.
     Shortly after I became president of the University in 1946, I was
called upon by several blacks from Wilmington. They made a case for
three academically qualified residents of Delaware who had applied and
been denied admission to the College of Engineering but were accepted
and enrolled at Pennsylvania State University.
     I called this to the attention of Judge Hugh Morris, chairman of
the board, and recommended that qualified blacks be admitted promptly.
He immediately called a meeting of the board to discuss the situation
and take action. I made my presentation, and the board voted
unanimously to admit blacks into all programs not offered at Delaware
State College.
     The University was not acting under any "federal court order" nor
compulsion to admit blacks.
     We were disappointed that the three original applicants chose to
remain at Pennsylvania State University.

          William S. Carlson
          University of Delaware
          president, 1946-50
          Bellair, Fla.

     Dr. Bruce Hart, Delaware '69, Dr. Willie McCloud, Delaware '72,
Dr. Carl Turner, Delaware '71, Dr. Alton Williams and Mr. Kester
Cross, Delaware '69, must have experienced a feeling of uneasiness
when reading the magazine article entitled "Unfinished Business."
These black, former University of Delaware students are very
successful in their life's work and attended the University of
Delaware without scholarships, even though they were top students. In
fact, Dr. Hart has a law degree, a master's of business
administration, a medical doctor's degree and a chemical engineering
degree. Further, Dr. Turner finished as the top pre-med student in his
graduating class at Delaware, while Dr. McCloud, a gynecologist, Dr.
Williams, an optometrist, and Mr. Cross, an attorney, have
distinguished academic records as well. They did not see themselves as
"victims" of an unfair system that honored mediocrity and victimized
the talented. They believed that by attending the University of
Delaware they would attain an education that would enhance their
chance of reaching their dreams and goals. To accomplish these, they
used all of their energies and resources to make those dreams and
goals come true.
     It is time to close the book on "Unfinished Business." Talented
black students have attended the University of Delaware for nearly 40
years, and it is past time to put the issue of race to rest. The
blanket attack on the intelligence of all black students and the
growing sense of victimization by white students have to stop now if
the collegiate environment is to nurture the type of leadership needed
to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Solving environmental,
health and social problems demands the help of everyone, regardless of
race, and not just the efforts of a privileged few.
     The University of Delaware over the years has made great strides
in all fields of academic endeavor, from human performance to space
research. It is time to set in motion policies that will build a
campus environment that does not set "2000 in 2000" as a goal, but
instead will establish a campus life where academic, social,
psychological and personal growth can flourish without the ugly head
of racism hanging around. When the "proper" environment is in place,
the University of Delaware's ability to recruit and retain top black
students also will improve. Let's not tarnish Delaware's image with
terrible examples of racism. Racism cannot be allowed to exist, ever.

          Conway Hayman
          Delaware '71
          Houston, Tex.