In the 1960s, the College of Charleston faced a debilitating, self-inflicted fiscal crisis precipitated by dwindling private donations, shrinking financial support from the city, no access to federal financial opportunities, and irresponsible real estate acquisitions. President Grice’s real estate acquisitions included property along the border of campus on Coming Street. President Grice supported the purchase of these homes because, as he said in an August 1961 Board of Trustees meeting, “These twelve parcels of property… are paralleled by an increase in the number of Negro tenants and owners occupying houses and apartments in the area of Coming Street south of Calhoun [Street].” Grice wanted to reinforce the racial boundary between the College of Charleston and African American families living nearby, and by purchasing these properties along Coming Street, he could force them out of the neighborhood.
In addition to his privatization and real estate decisions, President Grice's also refused to comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, deepening the financial crisis for the institution as well as limiting funding opportunities for its faculty and students. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act denied funding to institutions of higher education that discriminated on the basis of race, color, or national origin, regardless of private or public status. Because of the College’s discriminatory policies, students at the College were ineligible for federal student loans, and faculty could no longer receive research grants from federal agencies.
Some alumni and students at the College publicly supported desegregation, but President Grice refused to relent. After five more African Americans applied to the College in September 1964, Grice openly endorsed racial discrimination in a statement to the Trustees, writing, “I do not agree that we should send application blanks to those persons whom we know to be Negroes, because we know that we will refuse such persons admission even though academically qualified.” Attempting to justify his support for segregation, he continued, “I am impelled to say that I simply cannot, in good conscience, have any part in admitting other than white students into an institution for which I am responsible until that other race is accepted in this community as social persons. The College would be accepting a Negro student as a student and not as a person. Such a policy is unjust to the Negro, and I cannot have any part in it.” He kept his word, too. Under Grice’s nearly 25-year term as acting president and president, the College of Charleston accepted no Black students.