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Furman University | Text

Statement on Integration

A statement from the faculty of Furman University in support of integration, presented to the university's Board of Trustees on October 8, 1963.

Exhibit F - STATEMENT ON INTEGRATION -- The faculty of Furman University affirms its belief in the principle that the qualifications of each applicant shall constitute the basis for admission to the University. In keeping with this belief, the faculty approves the following resolution: WHEREAS a strong feeling exists among many people that the exclusion of Negroes from colleges with Baptist affiliation is incompatible with basic Christian principle, and WHEREAS integration has been accomplished at other institutions under the Baptist control, e.g. Baylor, Mars Hill, Mercer, Meredith, Oklahoma Baptist University, Stetson, Wake Forest, and the seminaries, and WHEREAS Furman University already admits qualified students of all races, colors, and national origin with the exception of Negroes, and WHEREAS Furman has the opportunity to improve the educational level of particularly gifted students in the upper part of South Carolina, where no Negro institution exists, THEREFORE the faculty recommends to the administration and trustees of Furman University: 1. That Furman voluntarily terminate the custom of excluding Negroes, thus making admission possible to all qualified Negroes, 2. That the machinery for implementing this change in custom be devised with reasonable expediency (fall semester 1964), 3. That this machinery consider all aspects of student life on the campus to make sure that Negroes who are accepted shall enjoy the dignity and respect extended all other students. The faculty recognizes that this action would be purely voluntary; for, as a private institution, Furman is technically not subject to recent court decisions that have ruled segregation unconstitutional. Considered voluntarily, this change in custom is a meaningful exercise of the right of a college to self-determination within the frame of its affirmed principles and its understanding of its social responsibilities. The faculty assures the trustees that it stands ready to help in the study of the problem and that it is prepared to accept Negro students in the classroom when the custom is changed.