On Friday, April 4, 1980, a student talent show held in ATS featured talent from women students Frances Fernandez (presenting a welcome speech and acting as the mistress of ceremonies), Patience Bonner (performing a piano solo), Pamela Foster (performing a reading), Michelle Arter (presenting a dance solo) and Linda Fisher (performing a solo).
Women of color
In an interview, Mary Synder Hertzler reports that groups at Dickinson College did discriminate in membership policies or in rush during the World War II period. "We were the only ones that did," says Hertzler of her sorority, the Pi Phis. The Chi Omega sorority "left," according to Hertzler, because the national chapter prohibited the extension of membership to minorities. Hertzler initially claims to remember one woman of color at Dickinson College but later revokes that statement, recalling that there "were some Puerto Ricans or somebody" at prep school.
On Sunday April 18, 1982, renowned poet Nikki Giovanni performed in Memorial Hall for the Congress of African Students's 12th Annual Black Arts Festival. The theme that year was "Expressions in Black."
"Writer, poet, recording artist and journalist is often referred to as the Princess of Black Poetry. Her works are collected experiences of being Black, being a woman, a mother, a person."
On Monday March 31, 1980 at 8:00pm, celebrated Soprano artist Gwendolyn Bradley performed in ATS for the Congress of African Student's 11th Annual Black Arts Festival. Bradley had previously sung with the Central City Opera, Opera/South, the Cleveland Opera, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. She had been a soloist for the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and Halle Orchestra (Germany).
In addition to her performance in ATS, Bradley led a workshop for the campus community at 3:00pm in Memorial Hall.
On Sunday April 8, 1979, in ATS, the Symbrinct Associates performed Ntozake Shange's choreopoem, "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf."
The performance consisted of Seven Black women performing and dancing a book of poems to the sounds of Jazz. "The women speak, and tell stories of pain, of joy, of struggle, of coming of age as a black woman in America. Although the play addresses the emotionality of the black woman, it posseses a universal quality and delivers a message that can be understood and appreciated by all."
On August 8, 1979 the Black Alumni Association of Dickinson College sent out its first correspondance to Black alums. The letter begins triumphantly stating, "At last the Black Alumni Association of Dickinson College is a reality!"
Interesting to note is that the majority of the elected officers are women, including; Chairperson, Luci Duckson ('78), Secretary, Patricia Love ('74), Co-Treasurer, Dorothy P. Martin ('73), [Vincent Liser ('74) was the other Co-Treasurer], and Student Liason Officer, Patience Bonner ('82).