Lutherans in Minnesota

Gustavus alum tells story of campus’ African American students

Bruce Gray, a Gustavus Adolphus College alumnus and former dean of students and associate in the advancement office, has written a personal memoir about the history of African-American students at the college. Titled Black and Bold, the book includes a foreward by Gustavus alumnus and current Board of Trustee member Talmadge E. King Jr.

Gray chronicles President Edgar M. Carlson’s plan for making the recruitment of blacks a centerpiece of Gustavus’ contribution to the civil rights struggles of the ’60s and ’70s. Gray takes readers from the small towns and cities of the South to the urban centers of the North, where he and former Admission Director Owen Sammelson convinced students of color to make the “bold” decision to come to a small liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minnesota.

The book, a contribution to the sesquicentennial history of Gustavus, salutes those students while it tells of their trials, tribulations, and triumphs as they pursued their degrees. Through Gray, readers hear their voices and discover what the students accomplished after they left Gustavus.

Black and Bold is available for sale in the Book Mark at Gustavus for $17.50.

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