Columbia seeks to end ‘whites-only’ scholarship

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Columbia University (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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NEW YORK — After facing a firestorm of criticism, Columbia University is now putting an end to a decades-old scholarship grant that was awarded to white students only.

The Washington Post reported that the Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship, which was established in 1920, is in question because its funds are restricted to “a person of the Caucasian race.”

New York’s WPIX-TV stated that the university stopped awarding the fellowship in 1997, but the grant is now at the center of a Manhattan Supreme Court case.

“The trust contains provisions that are impracticable and/or are inconsistent with Columbia’s administrative procedure,” Assistant Provost Lucy Drotning said in papers filed with the court.

The scholarship came from a medical-patent company heir, and opened with $509,000 in 1920 and now has more than $800,000, according to the Washington Post.

None of the restrictions for the grant’s disbursement can be changed without a court order, according to reports.

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