The 1967 Turning Point Letter

On May 9, 1967, four Stanford students (Frank Sotomayor, AM ’67, Frank Ponce, AM ’68, Luis Nogales, JD Law ’69 and Robert Anchondo, AB ’69) wrote a letter to the Stanford Dean of Admissions, Rixford Snyder, requesting that recruitment and diversity increase for all Chicana/o-Latina/o-Latinx Stanford students and faculty.

(Image credit: Frank Sotomayor)

In Dean Snyder's response, he agreed that recruitment practices needed improvement, and committed to a renewed focus on community involvement at Stanford.

(Image credit: Frank Sotomayor)

Directly related to the turning point letter was the enrollment growth spurred by the university action of the Black Student Union who made 10 demands regarding Blacks and other students of color in 1968.

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The 1967 letter is seen as a turning point for student diversity, and especially for Chicana/o-Latina/o-Latinx Stanford students. Enrollment increased from 40 primarily Mexican-American students in 1967, to hundreds of Latina/o/x students originating from all of the Americas in the 1970s.

"You know to be given a mandate by a private university like Stanford, to go recruit our gente all over the United States and the island of Puerto Rico was a like a dream come true."

Dr. Noe Pablo Lozano, History of Latinos at Estánfor, Mar 31, 2019

"During the past five years, Black, Chicano and Native American enrollment at Stanford has grown to more than nine percent of the student body.

The total included 294 Blacks, 296 Chicanos, and 47 Native Americans among the 6,413 undergraduates."

Stanford University News Service, May 22, 1972