Ralph Bunche
State hustled to succeed

California first marched itself into the big, bruising realm of higher education with a mortarboard on its head and a chip on its shoulder. For all the braggadocio of 19th century California, for all the superlatives churned out to entice tourists and settlers with tales of unspoiled charms and easy bounty, California also realized its sons and daughters would need to be able to spell "braggadocio," and a lot more. Even as the state boasted, it also looked over its shoulder, anxious to prove itself the equal of the East -- and that shoulder bore the boulder-sized chip that invariably showed up when it came to higher education. In 1893, when Chicago University announced that it...