Educators and administrators at California State University Long Beach gathered Friday Nov. 4th, 2016 at The Pointe inside Walter Pyramid to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the university's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and honor the former professor who oversaw the degree pathway for historically low-income and first-generation students.
About 200 people marked the milestone of a program that annually helps more than 2,500 disadvantaged students, five decades after its 1967 launch by Joseph L. White, a former psychology professor who touted EOP, which eventually spread to schools across the 23-campus California State University system.
After delivering a keynote address, White reflected on the expansion of EOP, saying he "had no idea that it would grow both vertically and horizontally, over 50 years," and that he initially expected "a small program that he would work with, and it just kinda took off."
While a 34-year-old associate professor of psychology at CSULB in 1967, White began recruiting first-generation minority students through EOP, on a campus with an enrollment of about 20,000, which had a relatively small percentage made up of Latinos and blacks.
For the 1967 fall semester, 200 students were recruited. Students received tutoring, financial aid, academic and career counseling, and mentoring.
“I think that what happened, as I look back, once we got one group through, then their younger brothers and sisters in the neighborhood saw what was happening, so we didn’t have to go out and recruit as much, because they knew these people, they saw them grow up and they followed them over here, so these students were interested in that transition,” White said.
White also worked with legislator Willie Brown — they attended college together at San Francisco State University in the 1950s — on an EOP financial package that started moving through the state Legislature. In April 1969, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1072, which established EOP across the CSU system.
Brown, who served as mayor of San Francisco from 1996 to 2004 and was the 58th Speaker of the California Assembly from 1980 to 1995, delivered a speech during Friday’s commemoration, which was organized by CSULB’s Black Student Union Elders Association.
“This nation owes Joe White and his counterparts in other states and in other universities a profound ‘thank you,’ because they were the ones who said to their professorial colleagues ‘this is a program and set of rules and regulations that will benefit this nation like no other, because it will afford the opportunity for a huge treasure of brains and talent to be ultimately unleashed,’” Brown said.
Pictured below: Rep. Alan Lowenthal presents a congressional recognition to Dr. White
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was in attendance to officially place the 50-year celebration in the Congressional Record, which chronicles daily proceedings, ranging from legislative activity to member remarks, while Congress is in session.
“It’s really honoring the legacy of Dr. White,” Lowenthal said.
White, who went on to a distinguished career at UC Irvine and is seen by many as the father of black psychology after his article, “Toward a Black Psychology” ran in a 1970 issue of Ebony magazine, said EOP drew criticism because some believed CSULB shouldn’t have admitted students who didn’t meet admission standards. His critics said those students should have first attended night school or community college.
White counted George Demos, the former dean of students, among those who gave full-throated support to the EOP program.
“We might not have had unanimous support across the campus, but we had people in decision-making positions,” White said.
Friday’s event also featured panel discussions on the progress of EOP from its inception, and its future.
---------------> CLICK HERE To see all 69 photos of the event ! <---------------
Read more on CMSC's most recent newsletter for more about this and other events: http://conta.cc/2fJJ8LO
Register to COLEF-CMSC's International Seminar on
Migration and Public Policy
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) and the California-Mexico Studies Center (CMSC) will host an international seminar on November 17 and 18, 2016 at the COLEF campus in Tijuana, Mexico ; to address the prospects and policy agenda for the 60-million U.S. Latino population, in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election. The seminar will focus upon issues pertaining to a comprehensive immigration reform, Dreamers on both sides of the border, the role of higher education institutions relative to policy studies and research, and other topics regarding immigration between both nations such as U.S. citizen children exiled in Mexico and Central America, and deported veterans and mothers of U.S. citizens.
Goal of the Seminar:
Promote a post-election binational discussion between Mexico and U.S. stakeholders on migration and immigration reform in the U.S., and the role of Higher Education Institutions, through a dialogue involving immigrants, academics and policymakers.
Hosted by COLEF and the CMSC, in collaboration with:
Seminar Schedule Overview:
Day 1, Thursday Nov. 17, 2016: Full Seminar Program
Day 2, Friday Nov. 18, 2016: Field Research and Guided visits (optional)
Field research and guided visits to La Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, The Bunker Center for Deported U.S. Military Veterans, and the U.S.-Mexico border at playas de Tijuana.
Click here to Download the Seminar Program to see full details of the program.