The College strategic effort to attract and retain minority students is most noted in the late 60’s (1968-69). A handful of African American students from the Twin Cities and Chicago area were “the distinguished guests.” By 1969 St. Olaf elected its first Black Student Body President. (Leavey Oliver ’69). Shortly thereafter, the campus demands for a Cultural Union was met.
In 1970, President Rand appointed Larry Johnson as the first minority staff to oversee the concerns of Black students at St. Olaf College. In 1973, with a significant increase in Black/African American and other ethnic minorities, the name was changed to the Office of Minority Affairs. William (Bill) Roberts was appointed a director. Robert’s duties were split between Admissions/Recruitment (50%) and Student Counseling (50%). Predecessors were Dwayne Sims, Merriam ? and Yvett Turner between 19973 to 1985.
In 1986, President George reestablished the College Commitment to the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Students. To reflect the College’s commitment to the Office of Minority Student Services was established to assist in the coordination of retention and academic development of multicultural students. For recruitment, the College established a minority recruiter separate from the previously combined position of Multicultural Admissions/ Recruitment and Counseling. To date, most of the Black and other ethnic student organizations and efforts are an integral part of St. Olaf College.
See below the historical timeline.