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It’s now “Autherine Lucy Hall” at UA

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Pat Duggins
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The University of Alabama’s College of Education has a new name. The Tuscaloosa campus officially unveiled the building as Autherine Lucy Hall. She was the University’s first African American student back in 1956. Lucy was on campus for only about three days before she was run off by white students and expelled by the University. She addressed a crowd during the renaming ceremony at the College of education. Lucy thanked the people who stuck with her over the years.

“To those who helped me from 1956, up to the process, and times I had to change and back come, and go and come back,” said Lucy. “But it’s all added up hasn’t it?”

University of Alabama Trustees originally chose to name the education building after both Autherine Lucy and Bibb Graves, who was leader of the Ku Klux Klan. That decision was reversed. Lucy was the guest of honor at a renaming ceremony at the College of Education. Lucy shared her outlook with the crowd…

“It does not depend upon what color we are,” Lucy contended. “That’s what I want to teach. It’s not your color. It’s not how bright you are. It’s how you feel about those you deal with. And, if I’m a master teacher, I hope that’s I all I can teach.”

Work crews at the University of Alabama College of Education installed huge stone panels, each engraved with three letters of Lucy’s name, shortly after the vote of the UA Board of Trustees to re-christen the building in her honor.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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