University President Who Promoted Racial Equality Dies at 91
Dr. Miller A.F. Ritchie, a former Pacific University president, died early this month at his home in Hillsboro. He was 91.
Ritchie was chairman of human relations at the University of Miami in the late 1940s and early ’50s, when his interest in promoting racial equality was pioneering and controversial.
His wife of 62 years, Josephine Ritchie, says he taught classes off-campus to African American teachers who could not enroll at the university.
“There were crosses being burned at the time. I lived in holy terror,” she says. “But he was so adamant about equality for all, he kept going.”
Ritchie, who was president at Pacific University from 1959 to 1970, led the school through
a period of dramatic expansion during which its assets
nearly tripled and student
population increased more than 40 percent.
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