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Funding announced for events commemorating 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover

Northwestern promoting educational, inspirational events for 50th anniversary celebration

Crowd in front of Bursar's Office May 3, 1968
Crowd in front of Bursar's Office May 3, 1968
  • University offering funding up to $2,500 to support programming
  • Applications will be accepted through April 30
  • Important milestone honored with an array of events this year

EVANSTON - Northwestern University announced today (Feb. 14) it is making funding available for student groups, departments, centers and units planning events this academic year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the May 3, 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover.

The University’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) is offering funding of up to $2,500 to support events and programming related to the 50th Commemoration of the Takeover, a significant event in the University’s history.

To be eligible for funding, the event or program must have an educational or inspirational mission directly related to the 50th anniversary and take place between February and May 2018.

Funding applications will be accepted through April 30.

On May 3, 1968, more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students occupied the Bursar's Office in the first major sit-in at Northwestern. This peaceful 36-hour occupation ended with University leaders committing to enhance services and support for black students related to admissions, scholarships, housing, curriculum, counseling and facilities -- which led to the creation of the African American Studies Department and the establishment of the Black House.

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is leading the University’s year-long celebration of the historic event, in partnership with the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association (NUBAA).

In a new video focused on the history of the Bursar’s Office Takeover, Charla Wilson, Archivist for the Black Experience at Northwestern, tells the story of the events surrounding the takeover in May of 1968, including visual and audio records of the protest.

Northwestern will honor this important milestone in the coming months with an array of events that will culminate in a series of programs in May. To learn more about this event in Northwestern’s history, visit the Bursar’s Office Takeover website.

Among the upcoming Winter Quarter events being planned for the Commemoration are the following:

  • An Outrage screening: Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m. – A screening of the documentary about the legacy of lynching in the American South will include a discussion with the filmmakers hosted by Provost Jonathan Holloway, a scholar of post-emancipation African-American history (sponsored by OIDI, Campus Inclusion and Community and Campus Life).
  • The Black Revolution on Campus: Feb. 21, 4:30-6 p.m. – Martha Biondi, professor of African-American Studies, will discuss her book The Black Revolution on Campus, demonstrating the link between the black student movement and a shift in university culture (sponsored by the African-American Studies Department).
  • A Conversation with Kathryn Ogletree: March 15, 4-7 p.m. – Ogletree, an alumna and past student activist at Northwestern, returns to reflect on her experience in the takeover (sponsored by the Women’s Center, University Libraries and OIDI).

 A full list of programming can be viewed on the 50th Anniversary Commemoration website here

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