Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Publication Source

University of Dayton Libraries blog


The letter is brief, dated June 13, 1930, and clearly a reply to an inquiry. It is a total of four numbered paragraphs. What makes it interesting is the letter’s recipient and its explanation about the number of African American students at the University of Dayton in 1930.

In replying to W.E.B. Du Bois, editor of The Crisis, Brother Joseph Muench, S.M., notes that Jessie V. Hathcock is the only African American student at the University of Dayton, that she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education less than a week prior, and that her academic record was “very satisfactory.” More telling, however, is the last paragraph, where Muench explains that the University does not admit African American students into the day classes, but they are enrolled in the law and evening college classes.

Why did The Crisis want to know about African American students at the University of Dayton?


Only by critically and openly examining our past can we make progress toward racial justice. When Caroline Waldron, associate professor of history, discovered this letter — a response from the University of Dayton to a query from W.E.B. Du Bois about Black enrollment at UD in 1930 — it was an opportunity to seek answers and reflect on their meaning, no matter how uncomfortable.

This blog supports the priorities from An Open Letter to the University of Dayton Community from Members of the President’s Council Regarding Steps Toward Becoming an Anti-Racist University and the University Libraries' Commitment to Anti-Racism.

Please see this video about the University's response to the letter.

Link to published version