USC honors three alumni who began the future of diversity at university, celebrates 60 years of desegregation

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 11:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The University of South Carolina celebrated the 60th anniversary of the school being desegregated on Sept. 11.

On September 11, 1963, the university desegregated when three Black students enrolled six decades ago.

Henrie Monteith Treadwell, Robert G. Anderson, and James L. Solomon Jr., were all honored during a ceremony to commemorate all of the years the school has been desegregated.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held on Monday morning where statues of the three former students will soon be steps away from the building where the trio took their first steps.

The 12-foot bronze statue will be next to the McKissick Museum on USC’s horseshoe.

It celebrates the former students’ historic walk from the Osborne building to Hamilton College to register for classes.

The three alum were able to enroll in the university nine years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling which opened the doors for many black students around the United States to have the same opportunity.

“People must understand that my walking across that threshold was not the end of the story. My walking across that threshold was the beginning of a story,” said Henrie Treadwell.

Treadwell and the families of Anderson and Solomon joined President Michael Amiridis and Board of Trustees Chair Thad Westbrook at the monument site.

The completion of the Basil Watson created statue will be in 2024.

In addition to the statue, a new plaque in LeConte College was unveiled to honor Solomon as the department’s first Black student Reconstruction.

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