Fri 20 May 2016
Fay Vincent ’60 writes:
In my college and law school classes, there were very few people of color. Indeed there was no black student in my class at Williams College, and only about 10 blacks in my class at Yale Law School. Women were admitted to Williams some 10 years after I graduated. The law schools had long admitted women, but few attended until the large-scale social revolution in the 1970s. Today people of color and women students constitute a major segment of most educational institutions. To me, single sex education always seemed artificial, and I am certain my social adjustment and education would have benefited from the more diverse current environment. Oddly, as a Catholic I was the diversity because the elite schools in my time had quotas for my religion.
1) Did Williams really have a Catholic quote 50 years ago? I have never read about it. Any pointers?
2) Was the quota a minimum or a maximum? The quotas — or, more euphemistically, admission “goals” — for black/Hispanic applicants today are minimums. Williams does not want to have too few. The quotas that elite schools — certainly Harvard but maybe not Williams — have for Asian-American applicants are maximums, just like the Jewish quotas of 100 years ago.
3) There is a great senior thesis to be written about this question, or about Williams admissions over time more broadly. Who will write it?
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