Orange Alert

Remembering A&S Alumna Roslyn Pope ’74 Ph.D., Author of 'An Appeal for Human Rights'

Roslyn Pope portrait.

Posted on: Feb. 14, 2023

Growing up in the segregated south during the 1940s, College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) alumna Roslyn Pope’s first experience in an integrated society came during a Girl Scout trip to Wyoming as a teenager. As a young student she became determined to fight the evils of discrimination that plagued the United States. While a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta, Pope wrote the famous document, An Appeal for Human Rights, which was published by major newspapers around the country outlining the right to equality in education, jobs, housing, hospitals, entertainment and law enforcement, citing these as not only civil rights, but human rights.

Pope graduated from Spelman the following year with a major in music and minors in English and French and continued her education at Georgia State University where she earned a master’s degree in English. She was later awarded a grant to attend Syracuse University, where she obtained a doctoral degree in Humanities in 1974 from A&S. In the following years, she accepted a position at Penn State where she taught in the Department of Religious Studies and was head of the music department. Roslyn continued to teach on the high school and college level until she retired from teaching in the early 1980s. She went on to work in advertising with Southwestern Bell where she excelled in sales and remained for 20 years until retirement. Pope passed away in January 2023. Read more about her lifelong commitment to activism.