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The University of Alabama

UA Announces Plans to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of the University

ThroughtheDoorslogoTUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama has announced plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door throughout 2013 with a series of activities and events designed to honor the desegregation of the University.

“During this year, UA will recognize the courage and dedication of Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two African-American students who enrolled in the University on June 11, 1963, as well as the University’s ongoing commitment to change over the past 50 years and to continued progress in the next 50 years,” said UA President Judy Bonner.

The theme for the year is “Through the Doors.”  A variety of programs, seminars, speakers and other activities sponsored by the colleges, divisions and organizations and a special series of events planned for June 8-11 will encourage the campus community to continue to make a difference in their communities and throughout their lives, and to build a campus environment that welcomes inclusiveness, ensures acceptance and supports the opportunity for every member of the UA family to become his/her highest and best self.

“Desegregation was one of the deepest and most profound changes in the history of The University of Alabama, and it is appropriate and fitting that we mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of that change,” said Dr. Art Dunning, professor and senior research fellow in UA’s Education Policy Center and co-chair of the University’s 50th anniversary committee.

A special website devoted to the anniversary ( launched today. This website will help publicize events and special remembrances, as well as archive the year. It will also serve as a source of historical information beginning with Autherine Lucy’s attempt to enroll at UA as the first African-American student in 1956. Those interested are encouraged to check the site often for calendar events, special remembrances and other highlights of the year and the past 50 years.

Dunning and his wife, Karen Baynes Dunning, an associate professor in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, are co-chairs of the 50th anniversary committee. Committee members include UA faculty, staff and students.

A three-time UA graduate, Art Dunning entered UA in 1966 as one of very few African-American students on campus. He returned to Alabama after a long career at the University of Georgia where he served in various positions including vice president for public service and outreach.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.