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“Accepted and Welcome”: The Unlikely Response of the Jesuits at Marquette University to Jewish Applicants during the Interwar Years, 1920–40

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Chapter Summary

This chapter posits that it was a fortunate series of strong historical, religious, political, social, and geographical currents and events that moved the Jesuits of the Middle West and Marquette University to be so egalitarian, when such behavior was very much out of step with most of the rest of higher education and the greater American society. The first and most compelling event was the arrival of Dutch and Belgian Jesuits into the American West. The Marquette Jesuits may have had opinions but they did not publicly express them, or at least there is no surviving record of such opinions. The Bennett Law was repealed in 1891. Jewish students could and did participate fully in Marquette student life. The clear indication of the articles was that Jewish students were fully and completely a part of Marquette University life.

Keywords: American West; Bennett Law; Jewish students; Marquette Jesuits; Marquette University; Middle West



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