Dwyer on Maloy

Lots of talk about Mike Maloy of late. Which led to this: Back in 2005, Chris Dwyer ’07 wrote for Ralph Levering a paper called Collegiate Gradualism: The Desegregation and then Eventual Integration of Southern Colleges and Universities with a Case Study of Davidson College; the other day, it showed up in my inbox.

Here, with his permission, is a piece of it:

Mike Maloy, who enrolled in 1966 along with Calvin Murphy, took part in possibly one of the most controversial racial events relating to Davidson College history. Maloy, a three-time All-America selection, led Davidson to three straight Southern Conference titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament while winning the honor Davidson’s all time leading rebounder and fifth leading scorer. Despite these athletic credentials, the Sigma Chi National Fraternity purposely raised the GPA standard for membership from 2.0 to 2.5 so that Maloy could not pledge in the spring of 1970. Davidson College President Robert F. Vagt stated in an interview, “Mike never took any umbrage about those sorts of things.” Irregardless of Maloy’s often outgoing and positive reactions, Davidson’s Delta Gamma chapter of Sigma Chi experienced a schism. More than half of the fraternity walked out in protest and created an eating group called the SigMachis. The other members paid dues through the 1971 academic year, not because they were racist, but because they intended to fight the national fraternity in a legal battle. However, the normal academic grind of Davidson’s rigorous course load prevented the fraternity brothers from ever developing a defense for Maloy’s membership.

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