Fifty black alumni returned to Harvard Saturday to attend the second annual Harvard-Radcliffe Black Alumni/ae Convention, a day-long program featuring panel discussions on the Bakke case and southern Africa and talks about blacks at Harvard.
In the morning, the alumni attended speeches on affirmative action, undergraduate life, the Du Bois Institute and Afro-American studies. After lunch, the alumni listened to panel discussions and an address by Dr. Chase N. Peterson '52, vice president for alumni affairs and development.
Roger W. Ferguson '73, a member of the Black Alumni Coordinating Group, the sponsor of the convention, said yesterday the goals of the convention were to make black alumni familiar with important minority developments at Harvard, enable alumni to exchange ideas with each other, maintain contact between black alumni and enable them to meet other blacks.
During his address, Peterson talked about "positive effort" to advance the status of minorities, which will "supersede affirmative action when it withers away," he said yesterday.
Peterson and Nancy Randolph, special assistant to President Bok and another speaker, encouraged the alumni to make their opinions known to the College.
Muriel Snowden '38, co-director of Freedom House, Inc., a community service organization in Roxbury, and a member of the Board of Overseers, delivered the keynote address for the convention. C. Clyde Ferguson, professor of Law and acting director of the Du Bois Institute, spoke about the institute's activities.
About ten undergraduates attended the convention. Roger Ferguson said yesterday that although the convention was open to undergraduates the attendance was not as high as the coordinating group would have liked.
Because most of the 1400 black Harvard graduates attended Harvard in the late '60s and early '70s, times of conflict and protest at the University, it is possible that many of them chose not to attend the convention because they "do not feel a close affinity" with Harvard, Ferguson said.