HomeBy Gretchel Hathaway. A black and white photo taken in 1860 had been recently discovered and was a mystery at my campus, Union College in New York State. The image shows a young black man with his professor in what looks like a lab. We had a pretty good idea that the professor was Charles Frederick Chandler, who taught chemistry at Union from 1858 to 1865. But we couldn’t quite pin down the identity of the student. What we did know was that around the same time, Union College had admitted its first black student, David Rosell. According to our records, before being allowed to enroll, Rosell was subjected to, of all things, a hair examination to determine his race. An accurate chemical or genetic procedure for this kind of identification was still many years away. As a chief diversity officer, I have to marvel at how far we’ve come as a society. But I also have to consider what still needs to be done and more importantly, what we can do to get there. Read more...