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Class Year

2013

Abstract

The years of C. Arnold Hanson’s term as president at Gettysburg College were years of turbulence, change, and challenge. Rising to the position of president in 1961, in the dawning of a dynamic era of modern American history, C. A. Hanson served well into the middle of the next decade, during which time he helped guide Gettysburg College through some of its most trying and vital changes. This was the era of the hippie and the free thinker, the era of the Women’s and Civil Rights Movements, the era of Vietnam and anti-war protests, the era that shaped modern American society and culture. During this period, one of the areas in which the most dramatic changes occurred was in the sphere of Civil Rights; Gettysburg was far from the forefront in dealing with bigotry, but it did confront the race issue. As this occurred on the national scale, efforts were made at Gettysburg to follow suit. Sadly, this was often difficult and unsuccessful, occurring “in fits and starts.” During C. A. Hanson’s tenure as president, minorities experienced discrimination as they pursued equal opportunities in education, faculty and administrators struggled to construct a successful strategy for integration, students brought down racial barriers through interaction, and above all, many African Americans demonstrated extraordinary strength of character in their fight for equality and acceptance into the Gettysburg College community. [excerpt]

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