“Equal to All Persons: Minorities in SU's History”

Joseph Edward Trigg

In September 2005, the University Archives mounted an exhibition on minorities and diversity at the University. This was done in connection with Coming Back Together (CBT) 8, a reunion and conference of African American and Latino alumni and students. The exhibition ran until January 2006.

In his August 31, 1871 inaugural charge to the Faculty of the College of the University, the Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Peck, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, told them, "The laws under which you will do your work say, "the conditions of admission shall be equal to all persons... there shall be no invidious discriminations here against woman or persons of any nation or color."

Over the past 135 years the University has strived to uphold this charge, valuing diversity and seeking to promote meaningful access to educational opportunities for all students.

The University Archives presents this exhibit, intended as an small example of the types of records, photographs and memorabilia available in its holdings. It is our hope that this may inspire students and faculty to use these materials in their research and studies.

SU accepted minorities from its inception, and even though established as a Methodist institution, it welcomed all races, religions and national origins as early as the 1870s. Social clubs, organizations and student activities have held a variety of opportunities for students of all interests.

Floyd Little The legendary #44's - Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little - were only part of Syracuse University's minority athletic history, and in 1978 a 45-year tradition of a Native American mascot ended when the University 'sidelined' the Saltine Warrior in deference to the protests of a Native American student organization.

A missionary unit in Chunking, China provided help for the mind, body and soul for many years. SU minority students have published many magazines which the Archives holds in its collections.

Collections in the University Archives contain a wealth of information on the history of diversity at the University. The Archives welcomes research in these materials and encourages minority groups and individuals to enrich the holdings with new materials.

~ Exhibition curated by Mary M. T. O'Brien and Edward L. Galvin