PRESS RELEASE--Issued by the Department of Mathematics,
Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, April 4 [1960]--Two Atlanta University professors and a mathematics graduate student left the spring meeting of the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America Friday, April, in protest of the failure of the management of the Wade Hampton Hotel to honor their room reservations (which were confirmed on March 26, 1960) and their exclusion from participating in the Friday evening banquet of the Association.

The occasion was the annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of the MAA which was held April 1-2 with the University of South Carolina as host at the Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina.

Professor Lonnie Cross, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Atlanta University, Professor S. C. Saxena of New Delhi, India and Mr. William E. Brodie presented their reservations to the room clerk upon their arrival at the Wade Hampton Hotel early Friday afternoon. They were first told that the rooms which had been reserved for them would be ready later on that afternoon, but about thirty minutes later they were told by an assistant manager that the hotel could not honor their reservations. The assistant manager further stated that ``this'' was made clear to Professor W. L. Williams, Head, Department of Mathematics, University of South Carolina, when he made arrangements for the meeting at the hotel. Professor Cross pointed out that he and his associates from Atlanta University came to the meeting under the impression that the enunciated policy of the national body would prevail--that there ``will be no discrimination as to race, color, religion, or nationality, and that when accommodations and other facilities are provided these shall he provided to all attending the meeting.'' The assistant manager then stated, ``You can attend all the sessions of the meeting of the Association at this hotel, but we cannot honor your reservations. We can try to get accommodations for you at the Nylon (colored) Hotel.'' Professor Cross said, ``Such arrangements are unsatisfactory to us.''

Professors Cross and Saxena and Mr. Brodie then conferred with Professor W. L. Williams and Professor C. L. Seebeck, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Southeastern Section of the MAA. Both Professor Williams and Professor Seebeck said in essence what the assistant manager had said. Professor Seebeck added, ``We regret that South Carolina's law prevents your full participation in our meeting. We want you to attend and participate to the extent you can. About 90% of the membership feels as you do and is with you but times are such that they cannot openly say so.'' Professor Cross, who was scheduled to present a paper at 3:24 P.M. during the first general session of the meeting said, ``In view of the fact that the Southeastern Section of this Association is operating contrary to enunciated national policy and, in particular, in view of the management's refusal to honor our reservations, we cannot remain at this meeting. We would be less than human beings to do so. We are leaving in protest, and we are asking you, Professor Seebeck, as secretary of the Southeastern Section of the Association to explain to those at this meeting our reason for leaving and the necessity of our having to do so.'' Professor Cross concluded, ``As a member of the Association I shall continue to do all I can to make the policy of the national body a reality in the Southeastern Section.''