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Dean Savage Oral History

Identifier: QMP-0001

Scope and Contents

In the interview, Dean discusses his childhood in rural western Washington state; his time at Stanford; his activism, including participation in the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project, registering black citizens to vote in 1965; his dissertation research in France; and his career at Queens College, starting in 1971. He describes changes to faculty working conditions, student population, and the curriculum over the years, based on his experience as a Professor, Sociology Chair, Acting Dean of the Social Science Division, and Chair of the Academic Senate.


  • 2019-09-26



This oral history is open for research. Audio files and transcript can be viewed and/or requested through the Queens Memory Project on Aviary: For help using the site, contact

Conditions Governing Use

Interview shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Users are free to share or adapt the material for non-commercial purposes, as long as they meet the terms of the license. See license details at

Biographical Note

Dean Savage was born and raised in Washington State. He attended Stanford University, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in History in 1963.

In 1965 Savage joined the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project, an initiative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), as a volunteer in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he spent the summer working to increase voter registration among African-Americans. The SCOPE project was one in a series of civil rights initiatives in which Dean participated, starting with a demonstration outside a Woolworth’s in Palo Alto, California in support of the original Woolworth’s sit-in at Greensboro, South Carolina in 1960.

Savage obtained his masters’ degree in History and his PhD in Sociology, both at Columbia, completing his studies in 1975. Savage served as a Professor of Sociology at Queens College, CUNY, from 1971 until his retirement in 2019. At Queens College he served as the Department Chair of Sociology and developed a senior seminar on “Inequality in Higher Education.”


1 Digital Files ; Duration: 2:10:45

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to Queens College and Queens Public Library by Dean Savage and Rebecca Rushfield in September, 2019.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Oral history conducted as part of the Queens Memory Project (, a collaborative program of the Queens Public Library and Queens College to collect stories, images, and other evidence of life in the borough of Queens.


Dean Savage Oral History
Annie Tummino
March 2020
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Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us