Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Crozier Theological and Emory Law School

BISHOP: Getting back to the Crozier Theological Seminary, I was at Dr. [Hugh M.] Gloster's inauguration, I was supposed to be interviewed by Dr. Ronald Wells who was the President of Crozier who was coming down for the inauguration. I was a student speaker as was the tradition at an academic convocation, the student government president brought greetings from the students, the alumni president from the alumni and, of course, the dean for the administration and the mayor and other dignitaries, but I spoke and reiterated some of the points that we had made in our demonstration that led right up to Dr. Gloster's inauguration where the seniors had threatened not to march and the Glee Club had threatened not to sing and the swimming team wasn't going to swim in the SIAC championship tournament, the basketball team wasn't going to play —

BOND: What was the issue?

BISHOP: There were conditions on campus, you know, food in the dining hall, professors being unfair with grading, the administration not getting grades out on time, not putting up the graduation lists until the morning of, things like that that were mountainous things to us as students but probably seem miniscule now, but we had a little student uprising going there and we got it settled on the eve of his inauguration for fear that he would think that we didn't mean business. I had to reiterate it in my greetings, which caused quite a stir, but Dr. Wells was there. I ended up getting a standing ovation. Many of the faculty were upset but Dr. Wells did not interview me, but he wrote me a letter and said he didn't need to and he told me that I was accepted, that I\'d get scholarship help, work-study help, whatever I needed, that they wanted me at Crozier.

Meanwhile, I was accepted to Emory's Law School to the CLEO program, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, which was like a pre-start law program designed to test whether or not the LSAT really predicted performance in law school. I scored low on the LSAT, but I had all of the other prerequisites for admission to law school and, of course, if you went through the summer program taking actual law courses with law professors and successfully completed that, then there were several law schools that had contracted to accept any graduate, including Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt and Duke, as well as Emory.

I wanted to go to law school in the region where I wanted to practice. I wanted to stay in the South. I knew that, because I'd been inspired by Dr. King and I wanted to use whatever skills I had or was able to develop to improve the quality of life in my native South and that's why I wanted to go to Emory.