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Winthrop Firsts

First African-American Students

Delores Johnson Hurt ’68

Sept. 27, 1946 - Present

2014: Delores Johnson Hurt

Delores Johnson Hurt ’68 was chosen by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in consultation with her high school guidance counselors, to be one of the first undergraduate African-American students to enroll at Winthrop. She is the Columbia area applicant mentioned in historical documents who not only met Winthrop’s entrance requirements but had test scores “well above” the Winthrop average. Her application was one of three received by Winthrop in the spring of 1964 which spurred the administration, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, to admit African-American students without a formal court order.

Hurt lived with Rock Hill native Arnetta Gladden Mackey ’67 in Roddey Hall and later lived in Winthrop’s French House on College Avenue for a semester.

During her years at Winthrop, Hurt stayed active on campus: She hosted a radio show on WCRO Radio; served as vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; and she was selected as a junior marshal based on her high grade point average in her class. Her senior year, Hurt received a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a year at the University of Nice in Nice, France. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French.

1968: Delores Johnson HurtHurt, a resident of Charlotte, N.C., later earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. She worked as a reporter in New York City and as a news writer for CBS Radio Network. After she returned to the South, she was hired as one of the first African-American reporters at WIS-Radio in Columbia, S.C. Hurt taught journalism at Benedict College, and she also worked as an entrepreneur, owning a restaurant in Key West, Fla., with her husband, and later a commercial bakery business, Anne’s Simply Delicious Cakes & Pastries, started by her mother, Anne Johnson. She then taught French in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System before retiring.

Hurt, who received the 2013 Winthrop Alumni Professional Achievement Award, has been inducted into the Women's History Hall of Fame at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte.

She is currently active with the League of Women Voters and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.

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