Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“Glory Road and the Desegregation of College Basketball: The Untold Story at Oregon State”

Panel Discussion

May 17, 2011

Speaker Biography

Natalia Fernández
Natalia Fernández, Larry Griggs, Norman Monroe, Dwaine Plaza, Craig Robinson, Paul Valenti, Charlie White, Dawn Wright

“Glory Road and the Desegregation of College Basketball: The Untold Story at Oregon State”  Watch Video

Norm Monroe is OSU's first African-American basketball player for the Men’s Team. He played during 1960-1961, but left the team half-way through the season. In a brief Barometer article in January of 1961 it states that Monroe left the basketball team in order to focus on Track. That year and the next, he was one of OSU’s star Track and Field Athletes.

Charlie White transferred to OSU as a junior in 1964 to join the Men’s Basketball Team as the first African-American player recruited on scholarship and only the second ever on the team. In his first year he earned the Attitude and Leadership Trophy and was the second highest scoring player for the season. The next season, as team captain, he led the Beavers to the Pacific 8 Conference Championship. In 1967 he became OSU’s Assistant to the Freshman Coach.

Paul Valenti was recruited to play for the OSU men’s basketball team in 1938 and lettered three years on the varsity team from 1939 to 1942. After a stint in the Navy, Valenti served as Amory "Slats" Gill’s assistant for nineteen years before becoming the head coach in 1964. He retired as head coach in 1970 but has remained a part of OSU athletics. Valenti has been inducted into the halls of fame for the state of Oregon, Oregon State Athletics, and the Pac-12 Conference.

Craig Robinson was OSU's Head Basketball Coach from 2009-2014, following previous coaching stints at Northwestern University and Brown University. He is the author of A Game of Character: A Family Journey from Chicago's Southside to the Ivy League and Beyond. (2010)

Dr. Larry Griggs is a former college basketball player and, from 1995-2008, Director of the Educational Opportunities Program at OSU.

Dr. Dawn Wright is a courtesy professor of Geography and Oceanography at OSU, where she has been on the faculty since 1995. Wright is also Chief Scientist at the Environmental Systems Research Institute. Her research interests include seafloor mapping and tectonics, ocean conservation, environmental informatics, and ethics in information technology.

Dr. Dwaine Plaza is a sociologist at OSU. His research interests include Caribbean Studies; migration and settlement; and race and ethnic relations.

Natalia Fernández is the Oregon Multicultural Librarian at the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center.