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.
Young, Jr. Whitney M. "The Negro at the College Door." Technology Review (November 1964), pp. 43-44.