Student Criticism Regarding Scripps College's Neutral Political Standing


This is a photograph by an unknown photographer from 1969. It captures President Mark H. Curtis (1964-1976) giving his response to the requests of Scripps College students that were demonstrating against his proclaimed neutral stance on the recent events taking place under the Nixon administration and on campus. In addition, he addresses the suspension of student protestors on campus as well as the violent bombings across the five colleges.


This document provides a numbered list of proposed resolutions regarding student sentiments for the college to publicly agree to and support. The students that composed this express their anger with the President Mark H. Curtis regarding the school's neutrality regarding demonstrations on campus and initiatives under the Nixon administration. This includes the Vietnam War and the Ohio State National Guard. Furthermore, students demand that Scripps College divests its stocks in war-related industries as well as its affiliation with ROTC stationery.


This is an open letter from Mark H. Curtis, president of Scripps College from 1964-1976, to parents of students and alumnae regarding recent protests and proposals for a Center for Black Studies as well as an effort to increase representation of Mexican American students on campus that took place in 1969. This announcement was intended to update and calm friends of the institution as these demonstrations were peaceful, as opposed to the alarming and disturbing bombings that went off earlier that year.

These selected items give insight into the tense interactions that took place in the late 1960s between students at Scripps College and the president of the college from 1964 to 1976, Mark H. Curtis. During a time of turbulent political unrest and rapid social change, many students chose to take an active stance against injustice through peaceful pickets and violent protests, as well as the participation in community engagement meetings with administration. Students of Scripps College demanded campus diversity initiatives to increase the representation of Mexican-American students and Black students by corresponding with the Mexican-American Students Association and the Black Student Union. In addition, there was significant backlash against the President Curtis' public political stance in support of the Vietnam War under Nixon's presidency. Eventually, Curtis resigned, stating that the school has "reached the point where the College has the innate strength to sustain the strains of a period of transition and even perhaps, to gain a new sense of purpose from the experience." He explains in his final letter of resignation that the activist accomplishments of the students were "genuine shared efforts” (Scripps College, Office of the Presidency).

Student Criticism Regarding Scripps College's Neutral Political Standing