Saturday, June 06, 2015

A bit of trivia on OSU minority enrollment 100 years ago

The worst thing you can do when de-cluttering, particularly removing books, is to peek inside. I was doing pretty good yesterday until I opened a small volume and found a list of African American veterinary students who attended Ohio State 100 years ago. It was a research project I never finished (in part because I was denied access to administration records on course work due to privacy concerns) from 16 years ago. I glanced through the list and Google called, so I searched the name of Charles Huston Minor, who graduated in 1916. I found out he later got an MD from OSU in addition to his DVM and practiced in NY where there is a database on the web of licenses. Also found photos in a 1920 Makio (OSU yearbook--every issue published from 1880 to the present is available) of him and fraternity brothers. Google never ceases to amaze me--a lot of this wasn't available 16 years ago, when I had to browse old class photos hanging in the vet hospital and figure who were minorities.

One hundred years ago blacks were accepted in the college, but not women. Also male foreign students from Asia and South America. Lest we think "progress" it's important to remember that horses had been the primary focus of veterinary medicine, and automobiles, trucks and tractors were replacing them, drastically diminishing the importance of veterinarians. Therefore, in order to survive, I suspect the school began accepting minorities--for whom there really wasn't much future in this field except working for the government in health inspection. The percentage of blacks in vet school was higher in the waning years of the horse than 100 years later during the small animal, exotic and avian era.

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