Campus News

Milestones & Achievements

1961 • Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter become the first African Americans to register at UGA after winning a legal battle to gain admission. #1

1962 • Mary Frances Early, who enrolls at UGA as a graduate student in the summer of 1961 to support Holmes and Hunter, earns a master’s degree in music education -becoming the first African American to earn a UGA degree.

1963 • Holmes and Hunter graduate from UGA. He goes on to medical school at Emory; she begins a career as a journalist.

1966 • Chester Davenport becomes the first African-American graduate of the School of Law, 16 years after Horace Ward, the first black applicant to UGA, was denied admission.

1968 • Richard Graham becomes the first full-time African-American faculty member when he comes to the School of Music as a visiting professor, then joins the faculty the next year. In 1994, he becomes director of the school.

1969 • The Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha becomes the first African-American fraternity at UGA. Members include Eddie Cheeks, Alan Jackson, Richard Morgan, Bennie Roberson, Michael Stover, Russell William and Alonzo Wilson.

1970 • Basketball player Ronnie Hogue becomes the first African American to play a major sport at UGA.

1971 • Richard Appleby, Horace King, Chuck Kinnebrew, Clarence Pope and Larry West break the color barrier on the football team.

1972 • A group of African-American students form a vocal ensemble called the Pamoja Singers, which later becomes the African American Choral Ensemble under the auspices of the School of Music. The Pamoja Dance Company , created in 1974, is another offshoot that continues today as part of the African American Cultural Center * The Committee on Gay Education (now known as Lambda Alliance) was founded.

1976 • The Black Theatrical Ensemble is founded to give African-American students the opportunity to stage productions. Larry Calhoun (#11) is the first president and Micah Penn the first director. n Larry Blount becomes the first African-American faculty member in the School of Law, where his portrait now hangs. (#14)

1977 • Leroy Ervin and Ron Fadden found Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society for black students. The name means “circle of honor” in Swahili.

1980 • Several black faculty and staff, including Katheryn Davis, Maurice Daniels (#13), Leroy Ervin and others, form the Black Faculty and Staff Organization.
• Herschel Walker (#10) leads the football team to a national championship. n Basketball player Bernadette Locke becomes UGA’s first female athlete to be named an All-American.

1981 • Harold Wright becomes the first African-American drum major for the Redcoat Marching Band.

1986 • Vernon Jordan delivers the inaugural Holmes-Hunter Lecture, a series established during UGA’s bicentennial.

1987 • Robert Pratt (#9) becomes first African-American faculty member in the history department, later writes a book on UGA’s desegregation, We Shall Not Be Moved.

1988 • President Charles Knapp announces the hiring of 20 new black faculty members-nearly doubling the number (29) previously on campus. n Bryndis Roberts Jenkins named UGA’s first African-American vice president, heading the legal affairs office.

1989 • The Office of Minority Services and Programs opens in the fall, and Leslie Bates (#15) becomes the first director in April 1990. Vanessa Williams Smith (#16) initiates the Black Educational Support Team.

1991 • Hispanic Student Association founded by Melissa Sult.

1992 • Indian Cultural Exchange founded by Premal Amin and other students.

1993 • Telvis Rich and running mate Ron Jones (#2) become the first African-American students to serve as president and vice president of the Student Government Association.

1994 • The African-American Cultural Center is founded by the Division of Student Affairs, African-American studies and members of BFSO. Kimberly Thomas(#3) is the first coordinator of the center.

1995 • Alumnus Robert Benham (J.D. ’70) (#5) becomes the Georgia Supreme Court’s first black chief justice.

1996 • Former Lady Dogs Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain jointly carry Olympic torch past Stegeman Coliseum, then lead U.S. women’s basketball team to gold medal.

1997 • Graduate student Akinloye Ojo launches African Perspectives show on WUGA-FM. He continues as host after earning his Ph.D. in 2001 and joining the faculty in comparative literature.

1999 • Hilton Young (B.S.Ed. ’79) (#6) becomes first African-American president of UGA’s National Alumni Association. n Mark Anthony Thomas becomes the first African-American editor-in-chief of The Red & Black. • African-American Studies becomes a major.

2000 • Sprinter Debbie Ferguson (#4) chosen as recipient of NCAA’s Top VIII award after winning silver medal in ’96 Olympics and gold at ’99 World Championships.• Art Dunning, who as a student helped desegregate the University of Alabama, becomes vice president for public service and outreach.

2001 • UGA marks 40th anniversary of desegregation. • Rodney Bennett (#7) named dean of students, later becomes vice president for student affairs in 2005.
• Maurice Daniels’ book on Horace Ward (#8) is published.

2002 • The Office of Institutional Diversity is established under the direction of College of Education Dean Louis Castenell, who serves as acting associate provost for institutional diversity.

2003 • Eve Troutt Powell, associate professor of history, becomes first UGA faculty member to receive MacArthur Foundation “genius award.” • Asian American Student Association founded by Sarah Chen.

2004 • UGA partners with the Athens-Clarke County government and the school district to host inaugural Freedom Breakfast-now an annual event-to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. n Damon Evans (B.B.A. ’92, M.Ed. ’94) becomes director of athletics and is named by Sports Illustrated as one of the “Most Influential Minorities in Sports.”

2005 • Faculty member Derrick Alridge named one of 10 outstanding young African-American scholars in the nation by Black Issues in Higher Education.• LGBT Resource Center opens under the direction of Michael Shutt (Ph.D. ’06).

2007 • Juanita Cousins is named first female African-American editor-in-chief of The Red & Black. • Alumnus Natasha Trethewey (A.B. ’89) receives the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Native Guard, highlighting the role of a regiment of black Union soldiers during the Civil War.

2008 • Milly Legra (A.B.J. ’02) named director of new student orientation in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. • Hadjii Hand (A.B.J. ’98) writes, directs and stars in BET series Somebodies. Shot in Athens, it’s about an undergraduate at a large university trying to figure out his place in the world.

2009 • Christina Swoope, the first female African-American drum major of the Redcoat Marching Band, is named Homecoming queen and orientation leader Darryl Tricksey is king.

2010 • Broadway performer Tituss Burgess (B.A. ’01) presents one-man show at the Morton Theatre to kick off the centennial celebration of the historic Athens venue.

2011 • UGA marks the 50th anniversary of desegregation.