Eminent research psychologist Dr. Nevitt Sanford succeeded Dr. Carl Binger as director of the college’s Mary Conover Mellon Foundation for the Advancement of Education.  The founding director, in 1949, of the foundation, Dr. Binger resigned on May 30, 1959, telling the board of trustees that he didn't "believe a matriarchy provides a wholesome atmosphere in which students are likely to develop."

One of a dozen professors dismissed from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 for refusing to sign a loyalty oath, Sanford pioneered in the study of the interaction between social systems and personality.  A California Supreme Court decision in 1959 led to Sanford’s reinstatement at Berkeley.