In the summer of 1967, Newark, NJ saw a rise in ethnic tensions due to a variety of circumstances including discrimination in government, police brutality, inadequate housing, unemployment, poverty, and a rapid change in the racial composition of neighborhoods. The outrage of many citizens resulting in 6 days of rioting that ultimately brought attention to the challenges of living in severely socioeconomically and educationally disadvantaged areas. In November 1967, in the aftermath of the previous summer’s riots in Newark, New Jersey’s newly-appointed Chancellor of Higher Education, Ralph A. Dungan, outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young men and women from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The response from the academic community was overwhelmingly favorable and a commission was formed to address the need. The Commissions findings resulted in the development of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions that were determined contributed to the summers unrest. Among those programs was the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), established by legislation sponsored by then – freshman legislator Thomas Kean.
More information on the history of the EOF program can be found at the New Jersey Department of Education EOF web site.