More than 1,000 alumni, family and friends of the Ervin Scholars Program visited campus Sept. 14–16, 2012, to participate in “Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence: Our Names and Our Stories.”
“Throughout the weekend, we recognized the extraordinary scholars who, in pursuit of academic excellence, service, leadership and diversity, have continued the legacy of Dr. John B. Ervin and Dean James E. McLeod,” says Margaret West, PhD, associate director of the Ervin program.
As dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, McLeod was instrumental in establishing and building the Ervin Scholars Program. Today, it is considered a nationally pre-eminent program that fosters and enhances the overall quality and diversity of Washington University’s student body. McLeod died Sept. 6, 2011, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Scheduled activities during the weekend included an Assembly Series lecture by civil rights pioneer Ruby Nell Bridges. Bridges was the first African-American child to integrate the all-white William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. The Problem We All Live With, a painting by Norman Rockwell, depicts her historic walk to school Nov. 14, 1960.
Annually renewable scholarships from the Ervin Scholars Program cover full or partial tuition and a stipend. The program’s namesake, John Ervin, a nationally renowned black educator, scholar and author, was dean of the School of Continuing Education (now University College in Arts & Sciences) at Washington University from 1968–77. (Sid Hastings)
With a nod to the keynote address by Ruby Bridges (featured in Norman Rockwell’s painting of the same title) scheduled for later that day, the early arriving Ervin Scholars participated in a panel discussion on “Beyond ‘The Problem We All Live With’: The Meaning of Legacy, Agency and Schooling in the Post-Civil Rights Era.” (Sid Hastings)
Before a capacity audience in Graham Chapel, civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges gave the program’s keynote address, telling her own story of being the first African-American child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South as a 6-year-old in 1960. (Sid Hastings)
Ervin Scholars, an increasingly diverse group since the program began accepting students of all racial backgrounds, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the program at the Union Station Marriot in downtown St. Louis. (Sid Hastings)
Ervin scholars met to discuss Washington University’s administrative past and future in a roundtable meeting, “Ervin Legacy: Model for University Administration.” (Sid Hastings)
Ervin Scholars gathered to discuss the state of the program: its past, present and future. The late Dean James E. “Jim” McLeod founded the Ervin Scholars Program in 1987 to attract extraordinary students to WUSTL, foster diversity on campus, and pay tribute to the institution’s first African-American dean, John B. Ervin, PhD. (Sid Hastings)
Families of Ervin Scholars past and present joined in for a picnic in the Swamp, just outside College Hall on the South 40. (Sid Hastings)
A celebration banquet highlighted the breadth and depth of the Ervin scholarship across Washington University. (Sid Hastings)
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