- applicants: 44,073
- admitted: 2,085 (4.7%, or one in 21 applicants)
- enrolled: 1,708
- women: 51%
- men: 49%
- 69 countries and 48 states
September issue of STANFORD, where, on the cover, was a quote:
IF I SAW ANOTHER BLACK PERSON, WE'D STOP AND HAVE A HOLIDAY.
The first couple of paragraphs indicate the social state of the USA was during that period:
- They experienced little outright hostility (same for me).
- While they mostly felt isolated, they found their time on campus to be fruitful and enjoyable (I never felt isolated, for I was always part of some group--Asians in those days were considered to be White).
- Note that two are missing in the above photo because they did have problems and declined to be interviewed.
- By 1968 A-A enrollment increased ten-fold. That was the year when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, and the Black Student Union presented ten demands, nine which the university met. Which one wasn't met? Read the 9April1968 Stanford Daily.
- For the freshmen who arrived at the Farm 55 years ago, though, there were no such milestone moments, no organized activist movements around race issues. They were pioneers, lonely swimmers in a sea of whiteness, doing their best to coexist — and succeed — in a world that did not always want them.
- Sandra Drake (photo when she was on the faculty): did not recall even meeting with any A-As in her class, remained mostly reclusive, went on to a doctorate and until 2004 taught A-A studies in the Stanford English Department. (Once a girl came up to me and said: “I’ve never talked to a Negro.” We were “Negroes” back then.) One male colleague, who was supposed to vote on my entry into the department, walked up to me and said: “Do they read in the Caribbean?” I just didn’t know what to say. (I was doing poorly in my English composition class as a freshman. My teacher called me in and asked if English was spoken in Hawaii. I indicated, well, it is a kind of Pidgin English. I only got A's and B's after that discussion.)
- Paul Rose: had mixed feelings about his student experience, made no real friends and went on to become a lawyer. (My closest friends on the mainland are my freshmen dormitory floor roommates. We get together frequently. All are, of course, White. I don't remember even one Japanese colleague in my Class of '62, and don't recall ever seeing an A-A on campus...ever, in four years.)
- Ira Hall: I did not go to Stanford for love. I did not go for the social life. I was not surprised that I did not find a welcoming environment ready to love me. I came to learn about the kind of environment I would probably go into as a professional. I didn’t expect it to be welcoming, either. I wanted to be an executive, so I knew I would be in charge of people not like me. I had to get to know about them, and I expected them to learn about me. Hall is the person quoted on the front cover. Had a successful Wall Street career and endowed a scholarship at Stanford.
- Alexander Lewis Jr: was a military brat who was the first A-A to join a fraternity (Phi Sigma Kappa), loved the experience, went on to Harvard for an MBA, ended up in Hawaii in special education and never went to a Stanford reunion (Never met him in Hawaii, and also never have been to a class reunion, but that is because there is small group of classmates living around San Francisco I see annually, and they all don't like Stanford reunions. I'm trying to get them to one next year, our 60th reunion when we first met as freshmen.)
- Roger Clay: played football, and thought John Ralston was racist, but not Bill Walsh. I didn’t expect a lot of black people to be at Stanford, but I expected a few. When I went home, I told my mother everyone was white; even the ditch diggers were white. Eventually got a law degree and become a prominent member of the Stanford alumni.
- My family moved from Kakaako to Kalihi. I lost contact with my neighborhood gang.
- I began to make perfect scores on standardized tests and my teachers encouraged me to become the best.
- I was elected vice-president of the Senior Class.
- I became a successful tennis player for the McKinley High School team.
- I scored in the bottom 10 percentile in an eighth grade verbal exam, and this was confirmed in the Fall of 1956 when I took the practice College Boards, and my verbal score was somewhere in the high 200's (200-800 range). I was expected to work in the pineapple cannery between my junior and senior years of high school, but I broke my wrist playing basketball in the later spring. I made the best decisions of my life: memorize all those words on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and apply only to Stanford and the California Institute of Technology. I was always near 800 on the math section, but my verbal score jumped from 200 something to near 650. YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR SAT SCORE WITH ONE SUMMER OF INTENSIVE STUDYING. I got accepted at both universities and selected Stanford because it offered a more attractive financial package.
Upon graduation I observed that my high school classmates were better engineers from their education at the University of Hawaii. However, I was able to communicate at a higher level--better appreciated music, art and culture in general--had a more worldly view of things--and, most important of all, had the confidence to be innovative and enterprising.
The key word is confidence. I don't recall having any classmate or professor ever helping me in my professional life. But Stanford kept getting better, Silicon Valley blossomed from cherry orchards, and just my presence there as a student did wonders for my career.
To the right, Jim and Cathy with family and friends, when we earlier this year visited Naalehu, the site of my first job in 1962 with the sugar industry. We've met for lunch at Tadich Grill several times.