More than 100 students from the Clarke County School District and metro-Atlanta area attended the Holmes-Hunter Lecture.
“Having the opportunity to hear an influential speaker discuss issues that are important to today’s society is part of what makes a college town special, and these young people were able to spend part of their day being inspired and encouraged by a living legend,” said Alison McCullick, director of community relations in the UGA Office of Government Relations. “Experiences like this are important for young people, especially high school students who are open to learning more about the world we live in and how they can make a difference.”
High schoolers from the metro-Atlanta area spent the day with current undergraduate students, who introduced them to life at UGA.
Students from Clarke Central, Cedar Shoals and Classic City high schools spent time at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries learning about Hunter-Gault’s historic admission into the university as one of the first African-American students, as well as her storied career as a Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist.
Before the lecture, students sifted through artifacts, some donated by Hunter-Gault herself, that followed her from college through her professional life. The group also watched footage of the 1961 integration. After the presentation, conversations continued as students discussed the mementos of her time at UGA, such as letters, yearbooks and documents from the president’s office. The group also got an inside look at the Peabody Awards. Margaret Blanchard of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, alongside Grady student Ben Goren, discussed with students the history of the Peabody Awards and how UGA students can get involved through student panels.
Students were then escorted to the Chapel where they briefly met Hunter-Gault and had a close-up view as she spoke on current events and her Bulldog pride. Arthur Tripp of the president’s office introduced the group who was met with loud cheers throughout the crowded Chapel.
“This is truly a wonderful opportunity for our prospective students to come to campus and learn more about the University of Georgia,” said Tripp. “It is my hope that the students enjoyed their time on campus learning more about the life and legacy of Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes while engaging with our current undergraduate students to learn about our exciting student experience.”
Students and chaperones alike expressed their enjoyment with the visit. “Events like this makes the students feel valued,” said Marc Ginsberg, a teacher in the English department of Cedar Shoals High School. “Having a unique opportunity to come to campus and experience this is priceless.”