Trinity College In The Late 1960s: One View

Philip S. Khoury ’71, H ’21

2024

I was involved in an assortment of activities my first two years at Trinity, 1967- 1969. These included playing on the football, squash, and tennis teams and acting in two plays my freshman year and writing a sports column for the Tripod my sophomore year. But the activity that motivated me most was engaging with the Trinity community on the critical problem of how to attract more Black students to the college.

The protests on campus immediately following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, which included a large student sit in in Williams Memorial where the trustees were meeting, triggered the effort. The student protestors presented demands for the recruitment of more disadvantaged students. This led to the establishment of a Senate Scholarship Fund committee, which I headed, dedicated to raising funds for Black scholarships. My roommate and classmate, Tim Mixter ’71, and I led a door-to- door solicitation effort in the winter of 1969 to get students across campus to contribute to the scholarship drive. Although we didn’t meet our original target, we raised enough to launch Trinity’s first Black Scholarship Fund.

The late 1960s were heady times with the civil rights movement and Vietnam War going full throttle and it was an exciting time to be a Trinity student learning so much new and also trying to change Trinity’s culture for the better. Cultural change tends to be glacial but, in those days, it picked up a tiny bit of speed.

-Philip S. Khoury ’71, H ’21

Vice Provost and Ford International Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Read more about Mr. Khoury at his plaque in Mather Hall.

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