Wayland's ethnic diversity began early, with students of Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent admitted freely as early as the 1930s. Dr. Bill Marshall, WBU's sixth president, came in 1947 with a desire to see Wayland be a haven for international students of all races. The first black students were admitted voluntarily in the summer of 1951, a landmark decision that made Wayland the first four year, liberal arts school in the former confederate south to voluntarily integrate. Those first students were teachers seeking additional college hours to keep their certification, and they paved the way for the first full-time black students to enroll that fall.