Columbia University seeks to change whites-only fellowship

Friday, May 17, 2013

Columbia University is seeking to alter the 1920 charter of one of its graduate school fellowships which is still limited "to persons of the Caucasian race," though the fellowship has not been granted in years.

The Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship is, at least on paper, available to white students "of either sex, born in the state of Iowa," according to a Columbia University charter from 1920.

The university filed an affidavit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week to support a petition from JPMorgan Chase, the fellowship's designated trustee, to change the whites-only provision, according to Robert Hornsby, assistant vice president for media relations at Columbia.

Other restrictions for the fellowship stipulate that a recipient may not concentrate their studies in "law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or theology." Recipients must also agree to return to Iowa for two years after completing their studies at Columbia.

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