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09/11/2014

50th Anniversary of Integration to be Commemorated Oct. 6-12

Quick Facts

 Winthrop will commemorate the 50th anniversary of integration with a variety of programming Oct. 6-12.
 The week’s theme, Fulfilling the Promise, allows the community to come together, remember, and reflect on the contributions of these brave women and the many other esteemed African Americans who helped pave the way for the access and diversity that today characterizes the Winthrop experience.
 Highlighting the week’s activities is the Oct. 11 Fulfilling the Promise Banquet and Recognition event where important “firsts” in the integration effort will be recognized, a new endowment will be announced, and a speaker will put this historic milestone into perspective.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Fifty years ago four pioneering African-American women quietly integrated the Winthrop University, then Winthrop College, campus. From Oct. 6-12, 2014, Winthrop will commemorate this significant milestone in the university’s history. The week’s theme, Fulfilling the Promise, allows the community to come together, remember, and reflect on the contributions of these brave women and the many other esteemed African Americans who helped pave the way for the access and diversity that today characterizes the Winthrop experience. Winthrop’s minority enrollment currently stands at 38 percent, which includes more than 1,700 African Americans who make up 28 percent of the student body. 

Highlighting the week’s activities is the Fulfilling the Promise Banquet and Recognition event where important “firsts” in the integration effort will be recognized, a new endowment will be announced, and a short documentary will put this historic milestone into perspective. The event is set for Saturday, Oct. 11, in Richardson Ballroom in the DiGiorgio Campus Center. Tickets are $30 per person and $50 per couple.

The first African-American women to attend Winthrop in 1964 were an interesting group. Rock Hill native Cynthia Plair Roddey ‘67 was a married graduate of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, who enrolled at Winthrop to pursue a library science degree.  Delores Johnson Hurt ‘68 of Columbia was chosen by her high school guidance counselors and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to apply to be the first undergraduate student on the Winthrop campus. She majored in French. Rock Hill native Arnetta Gladden Mackey ‘67, now deceased, soon followed Delores Johnson, and the two lived together on campus. Mackey majored in biology. Sue Frances Meriwether Steed ’67, also a biology major, transferred to Winthrop from Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University (now Tennessee State University), and later became the first of all the students to earn a Winthrop degree.

The new endowment, established in honor of these four women, will support the financial needs of today’s and future minority students.

Events scheduled for the week are free unless otherwise noted:

Monday, Oct. 6
Historical Exhibit and Kickoff Reception
4–6 p.m., Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections, 700 Cherry Road
Sponsored by the Office of the President, Friends of Dacus Library, and the 50th Anniversary Coordinating Committee

Tuesday, Oct. 7
Lunch & Learn: Contemporary Questions about Desegregation and Resegregation
Presented by Stephen Smith, professor of political science at Winthrop, and Roslyn Mickelson, professor of sociology at UNC Charlotte.
11 a.m. – Noon, Tuttle Dining Room
Attendees should bring their own lunch; beverages and desserts will be provided.
Sponsored by the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy

Question Bridge: Black Males Blueprint Roundtable
In conjunction with the exhibition Question Bridge: Black Males, a “Blueprint Roundtable” will be held to facilitate multi-generational dialogue about leadership, mentorship, and critical social issues in the black community.
7 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
Sponsored by John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, Minor in African-American Studies, DiGiorgio Student Union, Office of Diversity and Student Engagement, Winthrop University Galleries

Wednesday, Oct. 8
Traveling Exhibit of Integration Memorabilia
11 a.m. – 1 p.m., DiGiorgio Campus Center Lobby
Sponsored by the Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections

Movie Showings Highlighting the Civil Rights Era
Times and locations vary
Sponsored by the Resident Students’ Association

Thursday, Oct. 9
Lunch & Learn: Speak of the Times: A Conversation with Winthrop’s Firsts
Panel discussion featuring Cynthia Plair Roddey ’67 and Delores Johnson Hurt ’68, plus Ellen Owens and Dorothy Barber, the first African-American library staff at Winthrop, hired in 1970. Moderated by Nathaniel Frederick of the mass communication faculty. 
11 a.m. – Noon, Tuttle Dining Room
Attendees should bring their own lunch; beverages and desserts will be provided.
Sponsored by the Office of the President and the 50th Anniversary Coordinating Committee

Friday, Oct. 10
Black/NPHC Greek Alumni Celebration (invitation only; reservation required)
9 p.m.-1 a.m., McBryde Hall
Sponsored by the Winthrop Alumni Association

Saturday, Oct. 11
Fulfilling the Promise Banquet and Recognition
6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. banquet; Richardson Ballroom, DiGiorgio Campus Center
Entertainment provided by Plair
$30 per person, $50 per couple; for tickets, call the Office of Development at 803/323-2150.
Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Division of Institutional Advancement

Sunday, Oct. 12
Association of Ebonites Reunion Concert and Reception
Winthrop’s oldest African-American student group, founded in 1968, will hold a reunion concert of current and former members, followed by a reception.
3 p.m., Tillman Auditorium
Sponsored by the Office of the President and the 50th Anniversary Coordinating Committee

Other events taking place during the week include:

Through Nov. 14, exhibitions sponsored by Winthrop University Galleries:
Question Bridge: Black Males
Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery, Rutledge Building
Artists Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair traveled the country, collecting over 1,500 question and answer videos from over 150 men. They molded this rich content into an insightful, provocative and entertaining video installation—a portal into an inner realm of black male consciousness.

Michaela Pilar Brown
Rutledge Gallery, Rutledge Building 
Photography, sculpture and installation focusing on cultural hierarchies relating to beauty and how race, gender and history play into these caste systems.

For more information, please contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or email longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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