Diversity Timeline 1970s


Thursday, January 1, 1970

John Wideman (B.A. 1963), Penn graduate and Associate Professor of English, was appointed chairman of the Black Studies Committee and Director of the Afro-American Studies Program.

Friday, January 1, 1971

A news release announced, "University of Pennsylvania president Martin Meyerson names James H. Robinson to the newly created position of Equal Opportunity Administrator at the University….Mr. Robinson will be responsible for preparing and maintaining a University Affirmative Action Plan to ensure equality for women and for members of minority groups. He will also assist various departments in preparing Affirmative Action Plans of their own, and will monitor the implementation and execution of the departmental plans as well as the overall University Affirmative Action Plan."
The Daily Pennsylvanian reported the Sphinx Society will become co-ed.

A "Garden of Trees" was planted at Penn's Hillel House, the first Hillel Foundation "to respond to the needs of Israel for land reclamation, reforestation, beautification and protection around the city of Jerusalem".

Du Bois College House

Saturday, January 1, 1972

DuBois College House opened as an experimental living-learning program for African American students at the same time the Afro-American Studies Program began.

The Minority Recruitment Program was officially recognized.
The student group MEChA was formed at Penn: El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. MEChA focused on the recruitment and retention of Mexican-American students as well as providing cultural events throughout the year.

Tuesday, January 1, 1974

In a statement on Support Services for Minority Students at Penn, "…Nevertheless, the principal purpose of providing supportive services should be to provide expanded educational opportunity for disadvantaged students, and the principal goal of any program ought to be to maximize retention and graduation and to minimize attrition of those students who are admitted to the University."

Onyx Senior Honor Society

Wednesday, January 1, 1975

A Culture Studies Program was created with a variety of classes focused on India; similar courses on Germany and China were to follow.

The Onyx Senior Honor Society was created to honor African American members of the Senior Class. The Society was (and is) co-ed, with nine women represented out of the first twenty-four members.

Saturday, January 1, 1977

Beatrice Smith completes the Reserve Officers Training Corps Program (ROTC) at Penn. She was the first African American to complete the program at Penn and out of the Ivy League schools the second to receive a commission through Army ROTC.

Sunday, January 1, 1978

Judge A. Leon Higginbotham was elected a trustee for life

Sheryl George-McAlpine founded the United Minority Council.