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Interview with Lee F. Browne

Browne, Lee F. (2001) Interview with Lee F. Browne. [Oral History]

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Interview in one session, June 14, 1999, with Lee F. Browne, Lecturer in Education, emeritus. Browne served as Director of Secondary School Relations and Special Student Programs at Caltech from 1970 until 1990. The interview briefly covers Browne's youth in the 1920s in North Carolina, his natural curiosity, and the importance of his education to his family; his time at Storer College prep school in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Failure to be admitted to Duke University and lack of permission to live on campus at Michigan State for race reasons discourages him. He then applies to West Virginia State College, graduates in biology and chemistry. Details about service in World War II in desegregated division of the U.S. navy. He moves to Los Angeles as teaching assistant at UCLA, then eventually gets permanent job at Valley Junior College and buys house in Pasadena, then Altadena. Change to secondary school teaching in chemistry, first at Muir High School, then Blair High School in Pasadena. Remarks about bussing in Pasadena in the 1970s. Teaching the children of Caltech faculty. He tells about his recruitment to Caltech and a general mandate to get good students, beginning around 1970. Survey of the programs he started, including summer classes; problems of recruiting and funding good students from minority backgrounds. Comments on race relations on campus. Notes change in direction of minority recruitment activity during the late 1980s to 1990, leading to his retirement. Concludes with an assessment of Caltech's success or lack thereof in getting and keeping African-American and Latino students.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Administration, minorities, education, African-Americans
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Browne_L
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Browne, Lee F. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, June 14, 1999. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:All Records
Subjects > Administration
ID Code:171
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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