Skip to main content

1943 Integration of Student Body

Gloria Clement and Dorothea Kopshcinski enroll for the 1943-44 year, becoming the first Black students allowed to do so. In fall 1944, the Navy sent the first of the three Black men to campus with its V-12 program: Talmadge Matlock, Carl White, and Allen Winter.

As President John Nason explained in a letter to Earlham College president Thomas Jones: 

“It is the policy of Swarthmore College to accept students without discrimination as to race or color upon the bases of their ability to profit by residence here and to survive serious competition for place…. We welcome foreign students from all over the world and we think that our student body should represent not only all income classes in this country but all groups of people within our citizenry."

Although Nason was ultimately successful in convincing the Board to change the College's policy, the College did not actively recruit students of color for many more years. The issue reached a critical level in 1969, when members of the Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society occupied the Admissions Office to demand increases in Black student enrollment.