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 enhanced. 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, "...it 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.