Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)
Charles F. Robinson
Second Committee Member
Patrick G. Williams
Southern Methodist University was the first Methodist institution in the South to open its doors to African Americans in the early 1950s. There were several factors that contributed to SMU pushing for desegregation when it did. When SMU started the process of desegregation in the fall of 1950, two schools in the Southwest Conference had already admitted at least one black graduate student. University officials, namely then President Umphrey Lee, realized that because other schools had desegregated, it would not be long before SMU would have to do the same. Lee started the path towards desegregation in 1950, and it continued through the presidency of Willis Tate until 1970 when SMU was no longer lily-white.
Cashion, Scott A., ""And So We Moved Quietly": Southern Methodist University and Desegregation, 1950-1970" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 739.