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"Creative Partnership" Needed to Create "True Equality," Vernon Jordan '57 Tells Graduates

"Creative Partnership" Needed to Create "True Equality," Vernon Jordan '57 Tells Graduates

May 20, 1973

1973 Commencement.jpgMay 20, 1973, Greencastle, Ind. - "The business community, the universities, labor, the media, philanthrophy and all white people of good will should take an active and positive role in the creative partnership with the black community -- a partnership based on unity, not division; racial harmony, not racial strife; true equality, not injustice." That was the message from Vernon Jordan, executive director of the National Urban League and 1957 graduate of DePauw, as he addressed his alma mater's Class of 1973 as it graduated today.

"I believe that such a creative partnership can begin to bring an even greater measure of accomplishment and hope for black people, poor white people, and for the nation itself," Jordan continued.

With temperatures in the low 70s and a spring wind blowing, 554 graduates were awarded degrees at DePauw's University's 134th Commencement. In the ceremonies on East College lawn, 441 received the bachelor of arts degree, 25 were granted the bachelor of music, 17 received the bachelor of science in nursing, 5 received the master of arts, and 66 were awarded the master of arts in teaching.

Vernon Jordan Honorary Degree.jpgJordan is seen at right accepting an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from DePauw President William E. Kerstetter.

Three other distinguished individuals also received honorary degrees today: Eugene Smith Pulliam '35, assistant publisher of the Indianapolis Star and News, Doctor of Laws; Arthur Walter Burks '36, principal designer of the first electronic computer, Doctor of Science; Reverend Donald Frederick LaSuer, superintendent of the Calumet District, United Methodist Church, Doctor of Divinity.

Emeritus status was granted to three professors who retired this year: Charles P. Erdmann, physical education; Darrell H. Gooch, speech; and Albert E. Reynolds, zoology.