By Greg Stohr
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Additional info for A Black and White Case: How Affirmative Action Survived Its Greatest Legal Challenge
LEDFORD 16 A G AT H E R I N G S T O R M By the time Lee Bollinger sought the Michigan presidency in 1996, he had established himself as a staunch— and shrewd—defender of affirmative action. While serving as dean of Michigan Law School, Bollinger had reshaped its admissions policies, in part to protect against a legal attack. take part. Bollinger testified that classroom diversity was an essential part of a top-notch legal education and that schools like Michigan cannot achieve diversity without using race in the admissions process.
The two had met through their joint membership in the Telluride Association, a selfgoverning residential community at Cornell that brought together students studying a range of disciplines to foster intellectual inquiry and leadership skills. Fair-skinned with neatly parted blonde hair and a preference for starched white shirts, Pell was straight-laced in appearance as well as demeanor. He was cautious with people he didn’t know well enough to trust and, unlike Greve, didn’t especially enjoy the limelight.
When he arrived, Boston was exploding with violence over school integration. For the first time, white and black students were being bused across the city as part of a court-ordered desegregation plan. Many whites reacted by throwing rocks, beating up students, and even firebombing a bus full of children, all of whom managed to escape with their lives. Payton and other Harvard law students took down statements from some of the firebombing victims in an effort to help a local judge figure out how to quell the violence.