Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
ATLANTA — Georgia State University will mark the 50th anniversary of its desegregation with a commemoration ceremony on June 14. Focusing on Annette Lucille Hall, the first black student to attend the university, the event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center on the 3rd Floor in the Gallery Lounge.
“We should always remember and commemorate those civil rights pioneers who struggled to make a difference for their families, communities, cities, states and nations,” said Doris Derby, founding director of the Office of African-American Student Services and Programs (OAASS&P). “Annette Lucille Hall made a difference by courageously stepping on this campus and walking bravely as the first of her race into that classroom on Wednesday, June 13, 1962.”
Hall, who died in 1995, came to GSU with 16 other teachers to take continuing education courses in the Institute on Americanism and Communism, a course required of all social studies teachers by the 1962 Georgia Legislature.
Hall’s family members that will be attending the program to reflect on her life and accomplishments include, Carolyn Long Banks, Ralph A. Long Jr., Sylvia Hall Chapman, Wylma Long Blanding, Bridgette L. Long and Susan Cosby Freeman.
“As we reflect on the 50th Anniversary of the desegregation of Georgia State University this month – we must always remember our courageous and quiet warrior, Annette Lucille Hall, and her family which is full of courageous warriors in the field of higher education and politics in the metro Atlanta area,” said David Smith Jr., author of “Georgia State University: An Institutional History, 1913-2002” and assistant director of OAASS&P.
GSU is now leading the nation in graduating minority students, with GSU ranking No.1 in the nation among not-for-profit institutions in awarding bachelor’s degrees to African-American students by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
June 11, 2012