Transcript (1.2 MB)


Colonel William Stephens served on the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents from 1996 until 2001, serving as vice chairman and being named EMU Regent Emeritus in 2001. In this interview, Stephens details his experience as a black student in a majority-white college in the 1950s, his extensive military service, and his involvement with the United States Republican Black Caucus in Washington D.C. Stephens also discusses his service on the EMU Board of Regents, and his desire to ensure that Board members act as honest brokers for the University. This interview was conducted for the purpose of gathering primary research for Laurence Smith’s book, Eastern Michigan University: A Sesquicentennial Portrait (1999).

Interview Date



Michigan State Normal College, George Marshall, student culture, Greek life, EMU athletics, racism, military segregation, Vietnam War, Republican Black Caucus, Ypsilanti

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Streaming Media

William Stephens Oral History Interview, 1998 May 13