APRIL 10, 1947
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was in Washington Monday afternoon and Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Howard University Board of Trustees. Congress has realized, in spite of its program of economy, that Freedman's Hospital in Washington is one of the very important centers for the improvement of the health of the Negro people. There are so few places where Negro doctors can get adequate training that it is very important that those which do exist should give the best possible opportunity, since there is a great shortage of Negro doctors throughout the country. Tying more closely together the Howard Medical School and Freedman's Hospital makes it increasingly possible to give good graduate training, and I am deeply grateful for the foresight shown by Congress in this matter.
As at every other university, the Howard enrollment has gone up to such tremendous proportions that, with the 20-year plan of development only about one-quarter accomplished, the enrollment is higher than had been contemplated at the very peak. As I went from building to building, I realized what it meant to teachers and students alike to live in a beehive where every inch of space has to be utilized.
The faculty of the Liberal Arts College has felt it an obligation to accept the burden of increased enrollment, due in great measure to returning GI's. These boys have given years of their lives to their country and deserve a chance at education, but the physical space here, as everywhere else, is sadly lacking.
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The university has two schools which are only conditionally accredited because of the lack of proper facilities—the engineering school and the dental school. Their faculties were given high rating and their students were found to be very earnest, but the physical plant was so poor that full accrediting must wait until that is remedied.
The money has been granted for a new building of engineering. There are many institutions for the training of engineers in the South, but not one of them accepts Negro students, so the few Negroes who have had engineering training have had to obtain it in Northern universities. There is no engineering school established by Great Britain or any other country in their territories in Africa. There is no engineering school even in India. So this one at Howard University will be the world's first one built for colored people.
I attended a meeting of the university's division of social sciences. The subject they were interested in was human rights in the trusteeship territories, and they are making a careful study of the world situation.