President Walter C. Coffey (1876–1956) was president of the University of Minnesota from 1941–1945. He was introduced to students in the 1942 Gopher yearbook. President Coffey noted in the Gopher yearbook feature about him that the only drawback to his job was that he “met too many old people and too few students.” Coffey supported the creation of the International House in 1942, a misnamed residence that was to exclusively house African American men in order to keep dormitories segregated. Despite major campus upheaval, he refused to ever meet, or to allow his staff to meet, with students over the months of protest about his support for segregated housing. Although he agreed to integrate the house after meeting with representatives of the NAACP, he continued to work with his staff to ensure that African American men would not be allowed into Pioneer Hall.
If you have information about the University of Minnesota in the 1930s that you would like to add, or reflections on other campus struggles, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Individual documents remain the property of their repositories — consult with those institutions about access and reuse.