Fifty years to the day, the University of Georgia will mark the 50th anniversary of its desegregation with a series of campus-wide events. The nearly two-month observance will begin with a reception Jan. 9 from 6-8 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center. It is free and open to the public.
Guests for the reception include Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the family of the late Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early, who in 1962 became the first African American to earn a degree from UGA. The first black students to register for classes at UGA, Holmes and Hunter-Gault graduated in 1963 with degrees in science and journalism, respectively.
UGA President Michael F. Adams will make opening remarks. Other speakers include Cheryl Dozier, associate provost for institutional diversity; Derrick Alridge, director of the Institute for African American Studies; as well as Early, Hunter-Gault and a member of the Holmes family.
“The reception will set the tone for the rest of the observance, which will celebrate the courage of UGA’s first black students, those who supported them and those who have followed in their footsteps,” said Dozier, who along with Alridge co-chairs the anniversary planning committee. “Everyone is invited to take part in this landmark occasion.”