"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Columbia University has moved to change the conditions of a fellowship that stipulates it can only be awarded to “a person of the Caucasian race.”
In addition to the whites-only restriction of the award, the Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship can only be given to a person from Iowa, who may not study law or certain other fields, and must return to the state for two years after graduation.
As the New York Daily News reports, the fellowship has not been awarded since 1997, but Columbia administrators would still like to see the terms of the award opened up to other students:
Lucy Drotning, the university’s associate provost, filed an affidavit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week to support a prior action made by the fund’s administrator, JPMorgan Chase Bank, claiming the racist provisions set in 1920 are grossly outdated.
“Circumstances have so changed from the time when the Trust was established” that complying with the restrictions are “impossible,” the filing says.
“Columbia University is now prohibited by law and University policy from discriminating on the basis of race.”
Many of the previous recipients of the award did not realize the qualifying restrictions, as Douglass Gross, a Des Moines attorney who was awarded the fellowship in 1976 told the Daily News: “I didn’t even know there were requirements of race,” he said. “All I knew is that you had to be from Iowa,” he said. “And, since I was from Iowa, it was pretty easy to do.”
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)