A diploma belonging to Harvard’s first African-American graduate, Richard T. Greener, has been the subject of concern after the man who discovered it threatened to burn the document last fall. Now, that same diploma has been placed in an auction that opened earlier today.
Rufus McDonald, a construction worker who found a bevy of Greener’s historic artifacts, said he was going to burn the diploma after he alleged that Harvard offered him too low an amount. Changing his thoughts regarding the matter, McDonald has already sold many of Greener’s items for hefty fees and will add the diploma to his growing money haul.
From Boston Magazine:
This week, Greener’s Bachelor of Arts diploma will hit the auction block in Chicago, when it’s sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to the tune of $15,000.
“Greener was a pioneer of social and racial equality in the racially divided South. His Harvard diploma, a document of incalculable historical significance, has never before been offered at public auction,” according to representatives from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, who will put the diploma out to bid on Wednesday.