School Experiences

 

     Stubblefield's devotion of achieving a higher mathematical status would not be easy.
During high school, Stubblefield was given a scholarship to Prairie View College, only to
have it taken away and given to another student soon afterward (transcript, 5). But
Beauregard was determined to prevail. After finishing an education at Booker T.
Washington High School in 1940, Beauregard attended Prairie View College. His
teacher would be Dr. Clarence Francis Stevens, head of the math department. Dr.
Stevens soon recognized Stubblefield's incredible mathematical talent. Beauregard ended
up making the highest score on the first exam even though he had not seen the Binomial
Theorem or graphing in high school. As a result, he was taken out of the class and would
study one-on-one with Dr. Stephens (transcript, 2).

     While attending classes at Prairie View, Beauregard also worked using the watch
making skills his father had taught him and his siblings, to pay for his education
(transcript, 4). Stubblefield's dedication would pay off, and in 1943 he received a
bachelor's degree and a master's degree in 1945 from Prairie View University in Texas.
But looking for graduate work in Texas would prove to be unsuccessful. Because the
state of Texas did not offer him the graduate work he wanted, they would have to pay
for his studies at the college of his choice (transcript, 2). Stubblefield, as a result, sent in
applications to four schools: Columbia, Chicago, Michigan, and the University of
Southern California. After being told by the University in California that, "they did not
take anybody but their own students, " and never receiving a reply from the other three
schools, Beauregard took things into his own hands. Because Stubblefield was
determined to go to the University of Michigan, he decided to drive to the campus to
find out why he did not receive an answer. Surprised as to the boldness of this man, the
University of Michigan felt as if they could not turn him down. As a result, Beauregard
Stubblefield became a student of Samuel Myers, a top mathematician at the university
(transcript, 17).

     Soon afterward, the dean of students ruled that Beauregard was not a resident of
Michigan because of the money he was receiving from Texas. Stubblefield would have
to choose whether or not he would keep receiving the money from Texas, and as a result
pay more tuition (transcript, 24). At the news of this, Stubblefield decided to take a small
break from school and, once again, work as a watchmaker. After working for six years
at Hallis Jewelry store, Beauregard was able to save up enough money to continue his
studies at the University of Michigan (transcript, 4).

     Stubblefield grew up in a time where, if he was going to succeed, he would have to rise
up above all racial barriers. I could not find any specific references to racial events that
happened to Stubblefield while he was in school, but considering the time period, and the
history of what has happened to other people of color, it can be infered that he was treated
differently then the majority. It is not said, but his color could be the reason why his
scholarship was taked away and given to someone else, and why none of the colleges the he
applied to responded to him.