Stanford University Apologizes for Suppressing Admission of Jewish Students in 1950

Stanford University, US

President of Stanford University Marc Tessier-Lavigne issued a letter on Wednesday apologizing to the Jewish student community for excluding them from admission during the 1950s and for denying those actions years that followed.

The school issued the apology after an advisory task force conducted an investigation and found that Stanford had intentionally suppressed the admission of Jewish community in the 1950s, Erudera.com reports.

“On behalf of Stanford University I wish to apologize to the Jewish community, and to our entire university community, both for the actions documented in this report to suppress the admission of Jewish students in the 1950s and for the university’s denials of those actions in the period that followed,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote in a letter to the Stanford community.

He said the practice was wrong and damaging and was denied for too long; therefore, the university should make sure it offers supportive and unbiased experiences for its Jewish community.

“Today, we must work to do better, not only to atone for the wrongs of the past, but to ensure the supportive and bias-free experience for members of our Jewish community that we seek for all members of our Stanford community,” the President said.

The task force has made several recommendations to enhance Jewish life on campus, which the university has welcomed and accepted.

In addition to the apology, the President announced that the university’s implementation plans include an ongoing advisory committee, education and training, Associated Students of Stanford University resolution, Jewish High Holidays, and more. Under the education and training plans, the university will include anti-Semitism as one of the areas where anti-bias education is offered.

The report discusses a university memo of 1953 which revealed the concerns of school administrations about the number of Jewish students accepted at Stanford and the decline in the number of enrollments among students from two Southern California high schools known to have many Jewish students.

“In letters and in public, campus leadership asserted that Stanford did not have a ‘quota,’ while top members of the administration had full knowledge of the policies in place that were designed to allow the Director of Admissions to act to suppress the number of Jewish students admitted,” the report said.

In his letter, the President said the findings are “saddening and deeply troubling,” adding that the university should accept what has occurred, confront it as part of the history and try to do better. Tessier-Lavigne also praised the work of the task force investigating the issue and the university archivist who showed support for the report.

Stanford University was founded in 1885 and is ranked among the most prestigious universities in the world. On September 1, 2016, Marc Tessier-Lavigne was appointed as the eleventh President of Stanford University.

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