Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Effort Would Change Whites-Only Bequest; NYC's Columbia University Seeks to Update Terms of 1920 Fellowship from Woman in Iowa

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Effort Would Change Whites-Only Bequest; NYC's Columbia University Seeks to Update Terms of 1920 Fellowship from Woman in Iowa

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * Columbia University is seeking to change the terms of a 93-year-old trust earmarked for white students from Iowa.

The Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship stipulates that money be given only to "a person of the Caucasian race" from Iowa.

Roberts left Columbia most of her $509,000 estate when she died in 1920 and created the highly restrictive fellowship. It also stipulates that students must not study law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary surgery or theology. They also must move back to Iowa for a minimum of two years after graduating.

Lucy Drotning, the university's associate provost, filed an affidavit in Manhattan state Supreme Court last week in support of a legal action initiated by the fund's administrator, JPMorgan Chase Bank, seeking to change the terms of the trust. Columbia hasn't awarded the fellowship since 1997 but the school said it's impossible to know when exactly Columbia stopped adhering to the race-related terms of the gift. …

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