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Student Diversity at MUSC

Student Diversity History

The Medical University of South Carolina was founded in 1824 in Charleston, South Carolina.  The University consists of six colleges:  Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy.

The "Era of Diversity" at MUSC began with the enrollment of the first African American students in 1965.  Eleven years after the first African American students enrolled (1976) the University established the first Office of Minority Affairs.  Dr. James Martin, the first African American awarded a Ph.D. by the University of South Carolina, was appointed Director of the office.

From 1976 to 1995 the Office of Minority Affairs changed in scope and direction as did the social and political disposition of the nation, state, city and University with respect to access, equity and opportunity.  The Office of Minority Affairs was directed by committed leaders in the health profession and advocates for social equity and justice who included:

  • James W. Martin, Ph.D. -- 1976
  • Earl B. Higgins, Ed.D. -- 1987 - 1992
  • Jeannette Deas, Ph.D. -- 1993 - 1995
  • Thaddeus J. Bell, M.D. -- 1995 - 2004
  • Sabra Slaughter, PhD, Interim Director (2004 - 2006)
  • Willette S. Burnham, PhD, Executive Director (2006 - Present)

The former Office of Minority Affairs now begins a new era, "the fifth decade of diversity": attentive to serving the varied needs of our students and committed to academic success and educational distinction.

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