Community and Equity
In June of 1969, Ethan Anthony "Tony" Loney became the first African American student to graduate from St. Mark's. He arrived on campus in the fall of 1965. "It was certainly eye-opening to me," remembered Loney, some years later. "I had just left a junior high school in Brooklyn with 3000 students, predominantly black and Latino. Now I was at this small school, where everyone knew everybody else: predominantly white, and socio-economically so different from my own background." Unlike today, there was no orientation or training, no emphasis on diversity, and no institutional attempt to understand or address the challenges facing new St. Markers. "The school had no clue. It's like you were dropped into a war zone to fend for yourself." Still, while Loney recalled a few condescending comments and inappropriate epithets, "there was no hazing. The first year was a little tricky, but after that it was a no-brainer."