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University of Alabama trailblazer makes AP list of notable deaths in 2022

Autherine Lucy panel HER 2022.jpeg
Pat Duggins

The first African American to enroll at the University of Alabama made the Associated Press’ list of notable deaths in 2022. Autherine Lucy Foster was chased off the Tuscaloosa campus in 1956. UA later renamed the college of education in her honor just days before her death. The Board of Trustees removed the name of the Ku Klux Klansman and replaced it with Lucy’s. The civil rights activist remembered her supporters during the re-dedication ceremony

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

Work crews installed marble panels with Autherine Lucy’s name over the entrance to the University of Alabama’s College of Education’s building on the Tuscaloosa campus. The panel with the letters “H-E-R” from Lucy’s name is pictured above. The educator and civil rights activist attended the rededication ceremony in March. She quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of success during her comments to the crowd.

“To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,” she said. “To appreciate beauty—I didn’t get much of that, did I?”

Queen Elizabeth also made the Associated Press list of notable deaths in 2022, along with NASA astronaut Jim McDivitt. He helped pave the way to NASA’s manned moon landing with a test flight of the lunar lander. Other names on the list include actor William Hurt, NFL player Franco Harris, “Star Wars” movie producer Alan Ladd, junor,

actor Sidney Poitier, French film director Jean-Luc Godard, country singers Loretta Lynn and Naomi Judd, rock star Meat Loaf, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie, actors Angela Lansbury, Leslie Jordan, Bob Saget, Tony Dow, Kirstie Alley, Nichelle Nichols, Ray Liotta, Irene Papas, Sally Kellerman, Anne Heche, and Yvette Mimieux.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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