With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

‘Colorado College’s Own Harvey Weinstein’

As William F. Slocum left the presidency of Colorado College a century ago, he was awarded an honorary degree. Two buildings were later named for him, in recognition of the nearly 30 years he served as president, years in which he is widely credited with saving the college from financial distress and making it sustainable.

What wasn't revealed publicly in 1917 was that the board had pressured him to leave after an investigation -- unusual for the time -- produced detailed accounts from numerous women about how he had harassed and in some cases assaulted them. Those investigations came to light last year when Jessy Randall, the college's archivist, found the surviving documents from the era and shared them with others on campus. She had been looking into this history for some time, but made the effort a priority after the Me Too movement drew attention to powerful men using their authority to abuse women.

A blog post she wrote on a non-college website, "Colorado College's Own Harvey Weinstein," introduces selections from her findings. The documents are extraordinary in that women -- in an era when they might well not have been believed -- outlined what Slocum did to them. So many eventually came forward that the college investigated and then forced him out. The testimonies show how trapped and humiliated the women felt, and how Slocum attacked women who were employees or had other ties to the college.

Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed