Emory University Apologizes for Failing to Consider a Black Medical School Applicant in 1959

In 1959, Marion Gerald Hood applied to the medical school at Emory University in Atlanta. After less than a week, Hood was informed that his application had been rejected. A letter from an admissions official stated “I am sorry I must write you that we are not authorized to consider for admission a member of the Negro race.”

Dr. Hood went on to attend medical school at Loyola University in Chicago, later specializing in gynecology and obstetrics. He went on to a long career practicing medicine in Atlanta. Emory admitted its first Black medical student in 1963.

Emory University recently apologized to Dr. Hood for not considering his application and invited him to speak on campus.

“Advancing the School of Medicine’s lens to a climate and culture of inclusion and belonging cannot be done without restorative justice. As a university, acknowledging our past is a necessary step toward an empowered future,” says Carolyn Meltzer, the School of Medicine’s executive associate dean for faculty academic advancement, leadership, and Inclusion. “Our conversations with Dr. Hood have solidified the School of Medicine’s commitment to accountability, in alignment with the university’s strategic goals for a more inclusive Emory.”

“The realities of Dr. Hood’s rejection for admission to Emory School of Medicine, notably during the time of segregation, will not and should not diminish Dr. Hood’s accomplishments,”added Sheryl Heron, associate dean of community engagement, equity, and inclusion at the School of Medicine. “He continues to work to this day, exemplifying his commitment to the field of medicine and dedication to the many patients who have benefitted from his care.”

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  1. The racist institution called Emory University need to keep their pointless apology based upon the time it taken to admit their wrongdoing. The only reason why Emory University is apologizing now is make it appear as if they’re on the “right side of justice” now. Give me a break. Let’s be clear. Racism is still at the core of Emory University both historically and currently. Make no mistakes about it.

    • This apology from Emory University doesn’t mean anything for it was borne out the false notion of political correctness and expediency. Emory University has in the past and continues to the present too discriminate against African American students, staff and faculty members. Many of the faculty members are simply too afraid to speak out against the ongoing pernicious white racism on the Emory campus in fear of workplace reprisals and being white balled professionally.

      • Hey Ronald,

        You’re absolutely correct about Emory University. What I find even more alarming is many of the so-called Black Americans who work at Emory University look down on Black faculty at Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, or Spelman College. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

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