MIT Conference on Negro College Summer Institutes, 1964

Jerrold Reinach Zacharias, Vance E. Gray and Jacob L. Reddix, 1964
Photo: Ivan Massar for Technology Review, courtesy MIT Museum. Some copyright restrictions on use. Contact MIT Museum for details.

Attendees of the MIT Conference on Negro College Summer Institutes, Cambridge, MA, April 1964. Shown left to right: MIT physics professor and conference chairman Jerrold R. Zacharias, member of the American Council on Education ad hoc Committee; Vance E. Gray, Administrative Assistant to the President of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, Greensboro; and Jacob L. Reddix, President of Jackson State College, Jackson, Mississippi.

The MIT Conference on Negro College Summer Institutes, which focused on MIT's relationships with historically black colleges and universities, was held in Cambridge, MA on April 18 and 19, 1964. Serving as conference chairman was MIT physics professor Jerrold R. Zacharias, member of the American Council on Education (ACE) ad hoc Committee.

ACE had decided to "help develop projects and studies to speed and expand opportunities for Negroes in higher education" and to "serve as a national clearinghouse for information about local, state, federal, and private efforts to equalize educational opportunities," according to Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League. Young trained as an electrical engineer at MIT in 1943 prior to World War II and had served as dean of the Atlanta University School of Social Work.

In his book To Be Equal (McGraw-Hill, 1964), excerpted in the Technology Review article "The Negro at the College Door" (November 1964), Young writes:

Negroes are not likely to seek out colleges of which they have never heard, at which they are unsure of their reception. Therefore, the institutions that 'are serious about wanting Negro students must develop techniques of going out, seeking Negroes with potential, preparing them to meet the qualifications, and helping them over the financial hurdles. None of these factors is so mysterious as to defy solution by the aggregations of intelligence we have on campuses in this country.

Timeline: 1960s
School: School of EngineeringSchool of Science
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer SciencePhysics
Career: CommunityEducationEngineeringScience
Object: Image
Collection: Bridge Leaders, Conferences, Critical Mass 1955-1968, Faculty, HBCUs, Magazine features, Recruitment