Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

September 17, 2013

VSU celebrates 50 years of integration

-- — On this day in 1963, two students from Valdosta made history by becoming the first black freshmen at what was then Valdosta State College.

Today, with the campus fully integrated, it’s nearly inconceivable for students to fully understand the pathways they are following, but those two students made history. More students followed, and now, VSU is known as a diverse, welcoming school with students from around the world.

Throughout the academic year, Valdosta State University will be holding a series of events, programs, lectures, art exhibits, presentations and panel discussions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of integration at the college.

With kick-off events planned for Wednesday, Sept. 18, VSU will honor past faculty, staff and students, along with various campus organizations. A campus cookout is planned from noon to 2 p.m. and a community event is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bailey Science Center Auditorium.

For students who may not be able to attend the events, there are Facebook and website pages that highlight the year of events, along with stories, photos and more.

This day is an important milestone for VSU but also for our entire community. Public school desegregation was still several years away for Valdosta, but at the collegiate level, these students made history 50 years ago today.

Congratulations to the university for recognizing the importance of this day.

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