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White (J. Benton) Papers
2019.06.03  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
J. Benton White (d. 1931- ) was the first ombudsman on racial issues at San Jose State University. His position was created in 1967 by President Robert D. Clark in response to racial conflict and discrimination on campus, and was the first of its kind at a college or university in the United States. The bulk of the papers are correspondence, news clippings and reports from 1967-1971.
Background
J. Benton White (d. 1931- ) grew up in Alabama and studied theology at Emory University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. He began serving as a chaplain for the Air Force in the late 1950s, before moving to the Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist campus ministry, at the University of Nebraska. In 1961, he came to California to direct the Wesley Foundation at San José State College and became active in the civil rights movement on campus. President Robert D. Clark in the fall of 1967 chose White to be the first ombudsman, a position created in response to racial discrimination and conflict. It was the first of its kind at a college or university in the United States and became a model for similar roles at other institutions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Extent
1 Box .42 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.