Babson College will offer a formal apology on Wednesday for an incident 35 years ago in which its students shouted anti-Semitic remarks and displayed symbols that are offensive to Jews during a soccer game against Brandeis University.
Babson College President Len Schlesinger will announce that the college is creating a partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and deliver the official apology on Wednesday morning at the League’s New England headquarters.
On November 4, 1978, while Babson played Brandeis -- a school with a large Jewish student population -- in a crucial soccer match, several Babson players hung a sign in their gymnasium reading “Happy Holocaust,” according to an account released today by the ADL. Members of the team prepared for the game by wearing swastikas on their bodies for the final practice, and yelled "Holocaust" and other anti-Semitic slurs to boost the team’s morale.
“These insulting and ignorant actions left a bitter taste in the mouths of everyone at Brandeis, and those at Babson who value decency and treating others with respect,” the statement said. “The Brandeis soccer team endured a considerable amount of hate during games at other schools during the 1978 season, but the Babson incidents were extreme and hurtful.”
In partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, Babson College will create a program called "A Campus of Difference,” in which college administrators, faculty members and students will study stereotypes, and work to eliminate racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of bigotry, according to the ADL. Throughout the upcoming academic year, the ADL will train 500 first-year students as part of Babson's orientation, followed by a week long training program for faculty and staff.
Katherine Landergan can be reached at email@example.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.
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