The University in the 1970s

 

Other Featured Links: 

The Preface

The Road to Desegregation at UVA| The University 1955-75: The Timeline

|UVA & the USA in the 1950s| UVA & the USA in the 1960s| UVA & the USA in the Early 1970s

 

The Black Student Alliance

 

Historically, 1970 marks the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement which garnered its inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement. As the Women’s Rights Movement began, appropriately the first class of undergraduate women matriculated to the University of Virginia that same year. Women had been at the University before, though sparsely, through the Curry School of Education, through Nursing, even law and medical school, but not at the undergraduate level. But a lawsuit in 1970 against the University of Virginia, implemented the full co-education of the University.

Concert time. UVa student. 1973

As the Women's Rights Movement accelerated, US President Richard Nixon sought to decelerate America's involvement in Vietnam. Students across the country wasted no time in telling their college and university administrations, as well as the US Government they wanted their boys home from the war in Vietnam. This feeling was demonstrated by the continuous demonstration and marches occurring across the country. Watergate had cast suspicion over the US Presidential office and eventually led to the shocking resignation of President Nixon. Culturally, bellbottoms were in and Donna Summer was Queen of Disco music. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, and with his death, ends the movement of America toward integration. Instead, factions split, and many black Americans angered over lost lives in the civil rights struggle, and sometimes the slow moving progress of the civil rights movmement, aligned with the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, and many other black nationalist groups that yelled "Black Power". These changes filtered into University life.

After the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Bill that was actually enforced, it was no longer illegal for black Americans to do anything. These opportunities were demonstrated at the University through black students achievements, like Linda Howard . Howard was the first Law Student Council President who was female and black in the early seventies. The University was also moving toward a more progressive point of view indicative in its commissioning of a planning committee that developed the foundation for the the first ever Office of African American Affairs. The Office of African American Affairs, called the OAAA, opened in August 1976.

Finally, the University was reaching its goals. It was striving toward integration instead of gradual desegegation. Co-education had happened university-wide. The University on a national level was gaining prestige rapidly for its academic caliber facilitated by the students brought in from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and its going co-ed. Gone were the young Southern boys who made "gentlemen C's" to get by and in its place was a University that resembles, what it is today.

University life slowly desegregating.

In 1974, Shannon would step down from the Presidency of the University and Frank L. Hereford would become the President of the University. It would be a whole new administration and a whole new ballgame. Either way the University was on its way to looking like the institution it is known for being today. An institution that attracts some of the top young scholars in the country and has consistently remained in the top 25 public and private undergraduate institutions in the country. Of public universitieis, UVA is in the top 2 public institutions in the country.

 

The Trailblazers: Their Stories

 Linda Howard James Roebuck James Trice Wesley Harris David Temple Robert Bland Raymond Gavins

 

 

Works Cited