How Have Efforts to Racially Integrate Changed Over Time at Trinity College?

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Research Question: Trinity College’s Education and the Need to Racially Integrate: How have efforts to racially integrate changed over time? What methods were used in the past and being used today?Are the Posse Foundation and Questbridge avenues for racial integration?

Relevance: My question has relevance because it seeks to track the change in racial composition of Trinity College’s campus starting as early as mid 1900’s. I am interested in seeing how Trinity College went about bring diversity on its campus and classrooms, but more importantly I want to focus on the rumor within the Trinity College Community that states that the Posse and Questbridge scholarships are methods of bringing more minority students to Trinity who otherwise would not attend. Being that the majority of people accepted into Trinity College through those programs are minorities , I find it interesting to research (1) if this thought is actually accurate as well as (2) the efforts Trinity College has taken to integrate its student body population.

Research Strategy:

1)      I first went to the Watkinson Library in search of any historical accounts of the first Black student at Trinity College as well as the implementation of the Posse and Questbridge Scholarships. After speaking to Peter Knapp, I was informed that Trinity did not keep an account of their Black students if there were any. He gave me a book of his that gave me information about public knowledge of the number of Black students at Trinity College and the Civil Rights Movement. From his book, which was co-written by Anne Knapp, I learned that Trinity only kept accounts of students of color on campus after World War II. In addition, there was no information about the start of the Posse Scholarship.

I intend of going back to the Watkinson Library to look through old year books for more information on the admission of Black students into the college.

2)      I will contact the Posse Foundation as well as Questbridge’s Directors about the use of their scholarship programs a Trinity College. I think it will be interesting to see their take on the implementation of their programs at Trinity College and the fact that most of their scholars are minorities in a school that is lacking in diversity.,

3)      In addition to those methods, I have contacted Dorthy Thompson to see if she could give me any information on the types of funds that are collected for the scholarships of these students. I want to see if there are any economic connections with how Trinity College admits Black students.

4)      Based off of the advice I received from a librarian at the Watkinson Library, I will search through the Tripod archive in search for articles about racial integration on campus as well as the Posse and Questbridge scholarships.

Cernera, Karisa. “The Trinity Tripod.” Class of 2014 Boasts Unprecedented Diversity[Hartford] 14 Sept. 2010. The Trinity Tripod. The Trinity Tripod. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Hu, Winnie. “An Inward Look at Racial Tension at Trinity College.” New York Times, 18 Dec. 2006. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <>.

Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History. Hartford, CT: Trinity College, 2000. Print.

2 thoughts on “How Have Efforts to Racially Integrate Changed Over Time at Trinity College?”

  1. Great topic. Perhaps your research question could be broadened into something more like, “What types of college access programs have liberal arts colleges (such as Trinity, or others) partnered with over time, and how have their goals, practices, and types of students changed over time?” You might consider a string of nationally-recognized college access and preparatory “bridge” programs designed for underserved high school youth, such as A Better Chance (established 1963), Upward Bound (1965), and others that came up before the Posse Foundation (1989) and QuestBridge (1994). Whether or not these programs emphasized racial integration as part of their mission (and why or why not) would be a major part of your research.

  2. Shanese, to follow up on my previous comment, I encourage you to broaden your search strategy to find more secondary sources about the national-level programs you have identified to extend your scope to Trinity and beyond. I suggest starting with an advanced search in WorldCat (for books & articles).

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