The president of Stanford University issued a letter Wednesday apologizing to the Jewish student community for his exclusion from admission to the institution in the 1950s.
The university issued an apology after an advisory task force investigated and found that Stanford suspended admissions to Jewish students in the 1950s, the Erudera website reports.
“On behalf of Stanford University, I wish to apologize to the Jewish community and to our entire university community, both for the actions documented in this report to suppress the admission of Jewish students to the 1950s, and for the university’s denials of these actions in the period that followed,” wrote Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a letter to the Stanford community.
Denouncing this practice as “harmful” and noting that it had been “denied for too long”, the president of the prestigious American university vowed that such acts would never happen again within the establishment.
“Today we must work to do better, not only to atone for past wrongs, but to ensure that students of the Jewish faith are free from prejudice and are treated fairly,” the president said. .
The task force also made several recommendations to improve Jewish life on campus, which the university accepted.
At the center of the task force’s investigation is a 1953 university memo that reveals school administration concerns about the drastic decline in the number of Jewish students accepted at Stanford, based on the decline in the number of enrollment among students at two Southern California high schools known to have many Jewish students.
“Campus leadership has always asserted that Stanford has no ‘quota’, while senior members of the administration were well aware of the policies in place designed to allow the Director of Admissions to act to remove the number of Jewish students admitted,” the report said.
In his letter, the university’s president said the findings were “saddening and deeply disturbing.”
Stanford University was founded in 1885 and is ranked among the most prestigious universities in the world. On September 1, 2016, Marc Tessier-Lavigne was named the eleventh president of Stanford University.