Diversity Timeline 1900s

1740-1997

Commencement

Monday, January 1, 1900

At the University's annual commencement, an honorary LL.D. was presented to both the President of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, and the Minister of China, Ting-fang Wu.

Julian Francis Abele

Wednesday, January 1, 1902

An accomplished student, Julian Francis Abele, graduated with a degree in Architecture. He was the first African American graduate of the Graduate School of Fine Arts and a distinguished Philadelphia architectural designer.

College Hall

Monday, January 1, 1906

The College Courses for Teachers (CCT) was founded. The CCT was the predecessor to the College of General Studies (CGS) and its courses led to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

Christian Association

Tuesday, January 1, 1907

The Christian Association (CA) opened a summer camp for boys in Greenlane, PA, continuing the community-oriented service work started in 1898. Penn students served as counselors and the camp required a 50/50 white/non-white ratio. This camp and its corresponding camp for girls (started in '25), prospered well into the 1960 when both were separated from the CA and placed under control of the Diversified Community Services (DCS). The DCS, being religiously unaffiliated, mad the camp eligible for funding from the United Way.

John Baxter Relays

Wednesday, January 1, 1908

The development of an international house at Penn started with a chance meeting between Dr. A. Waldo Stevenson and a group of Chinese students. After befriending the students, Stevenson was informed of the difficulties international students regularly face, namely, their isolation on campus. In Dr. Stevenson's apartment, and later Houston Hall, the group met regularly to discuss issues affecting international students at Penn.

John Baxter Taylor, Jr. graduated from the Vet School and at the summer Olympics in London was the first African American to win a gold medal. Part of the winning and world record setting 1,600 meter relay team, his teammates included Nathaniel Cartmell, Melvin Sheppard and William Hamilton. A testament to his character, the Vet School Class of 1908 yearbook stated "We of the Class of 1908 are proud and can boast of having one of the greatest athletes the world has ever known."