J. Benton White (d. 1931- ) was the first ombudsman on racial issues at San José 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
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.
(.83 linear feet)
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