Celebrate 50 years of African-American achievement at UT Knoxville

50th Anniversary Celebration

In 2011, UT Knoxville will begin a yearlong celebration honoring the first African-American undergraduate students and the rich legacy of African-American achievement campus-wide.

In July 1960, Theotis Robinson Jr. applied for admission to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. On January 4, 1961, Robinson, along with two other African-American students—Charles Edgar Blair and Willie Mae Gillespie—gained admittance and began classes.

UT Knoxville will commemorate this important anniversary all year with special events and speakers, starting with a kickoff event at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11. In tribute to the original students’ brave walk to integrate UT, we will march from the Torchbearer statue to Ayres Hall. A celebration on the Hill will follow with our special guest, Olympian and UT alumna Benita Fitzgerald-Mosley. Please mark your calendars and plan to join this celebration. We welcome all who would like to participate in this celebration.

Throughout 2011, many other events and celebrations will be held. Please visit achieve.utk.edu for information on future activities and further information about the history of African–American achievement at the University of Tennessee. Also take time to view some alumni memories or share one of your own.

If you need further information on the kickoff event or the yearlong celebration, contact Charles Houston (974-3011) or Annazette Houston (974-6087) or e-mail 50thaaau@utk.edu.

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1 comment

Davie C. Jamison December 28, 2010 - 10:23 am

Thank you for planning the celebration of 50 years of Africian American achievement. I was at UT Knoxville from 1967-1971. It was a unique and challenging experience. It is definately a history worth documenting and sharing. I have newspaper articles from those years that I have shared with Phyllis Moore. I hope to participate.
Thank you.
Davie C. Jamison
Nashville, TN.

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