Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter become the first African Americans to register at UGA after winning a legal battle to gain admission.
Mary Frances Early, who enrolls at UGA as a graduate student in the summer of 1961 to support Holmes and Hunter, earns a master’s degree in music education – becoming the first African American to earn a UGA degree.
Holmes and Hunter graduate from UGA. He goes on to medical school at Emory, she begins a career as a journalist.
Chester Davenport becomes the first African-American graduate of the School of Law, 16 years after Horace Ward, the first black applicant to UGA, was denied admission.
Richard Graham becomes the first fulltime African-American faculty member when he comes to the School of Music as a visiting professor, then joins the faculty the next year. In 1994, he becomes director of the school.
The Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha becomes the first African-American fraternity at UGA. Members include Eddie Cheeks, Alan Jackson, Richard Morgan, Bennie Roberson, Michael Stover, Russell William and Alonzo Wilson.
Basketball player Ronnie Hogue becomes the first African American to play a major sport at UGA.
Richard Appleby, Horace King, Chuck Kinnebrew, Clarence Pope and Larry West break the color barrier on the football team.
A group of African-American students form a vocal ensemble called the Pamoja Singers, which later becomes the African American Choral Ensemble under the auspices of the School of Music. The Pamoja Dance Company, created in 1974, is another offshoot that continues today as part of the African American Cultural Center. The Committee on Gay Education was founded in 1972 and is now known as Lambda Alliance.
The Black Theatrical Ensemble is founded to give African-American students the opportunity to stage productions. Larry Calhoun in the first president and Micah Penn the first director. Larry Blount becomes the first African-American faculty member in the School of Law, where his portrait now hangs.
Leroy Ervin and Ron Fadden found Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society for black students. The name means “circle of honor” in Swahili.
Several black faculty and staff, including Katheryn Davis, Maurice Daniels, Leroy Ervin and others, form the Black Faculty and Staff Organization. Herschel Walker leads football team to National Championship and basketball player Bernadette Locke becomes UGA’s first female athlete to be named an All-American.
Harold Wright becomes the first African-American drum major for the Redcoat Marching Band.
Vernon Jordan delivers the inaugural Holmes-Hunter Lecture, a series established during UGA’s Bicentennial.
Robert Pratt becomes first African-American faculty member in the history department, later writes a book on UGA’s desegregation, We Shall Not Be Moved.
President Charles Knapp announces the hiring of 20 new black faculty members – nearly doubling the number (29) previously on campus. Bryndis Roberts Jenkins named UGA’s first African-American vice president, heading the legal affairs office.
The Office of Minority Services and Programs opens in the fall. Leslie Bates becomes the first director in April 1990 and Vanessa Williams Smith initiates Black Educational Support Team (B.E.S.T.).
Board of Regents approves establishment of African-American Studies Institute, an outgrowth of the African-American Studies Program, directed by Norman Harris --
paving the way for a major in African-American Studies, first offered in 1999.
Hispanic Student Association founded by Melissa Sult.
Indian Cultural Exchange founded by Premal Amin and other students.
Telvis Rich and running mate Ron Jones become the first African-American students to serve as president and vice president of the Student Government Association.
The African-American Cultural Center is founded by the Division of Student Affairs, African-American studies and members of BFSO. Kimberly Thomas is the first coordinator of the center.
Alumnus Robert Benham (JD ’70) becomes the Georgia Supreme Court’s first black chief justice.
Former Lady Dogs Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain jointly carry Olympic torch past Stegeman Coliseum, then lead U.S. women’s basketball team to gold medal.
Graduate student Akinloye Ojo launches African Perspectives show on WUGA, and continues to serve as host after earning his Ph.D. in 2001 and joining the faculty in the comparative literature department.
Hilton Young (BSEd ’79) becomes first African-American president of UGA’s National Alumni Association and Mark Anthony Thomas becomes the first African-American editor-in-chief of The Red & Black.
Sprinter Debbie Ferguson chosen as recipient of NCAA’s Top VIII award after winning silver medal in ’96 Olympics and gold at ’99 World Championships. Art Dunning, who as a student helped desegregate the University of Alabama, becomes vice president for public service and outreach.
UGA marks 40th anniversary of desegregation. Rodney Bennett named dean of students, later becomes vice president for student affairs in 2005. Maurice Daniels' book on Horace Ward and UGA's desegregation is published.
The Office of Institutional Diversity is established under the direction of College of Education Dean Louis Castenell, who serves as acting associate provost for institutional diversity.
Eve Troutt Powell, associate professor of history, becomes first UGA faculty member to receive MacArthur Foundation “genius award.” Asian American Student Association founded by Sarah Chen.
UGA partners with the Athens-Clarke County government and the school district to host inaugural Freedom Breakfast – now an annual event – to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. Damon Evans (BBA ’92, Med ’94) becomes director of athletics and is named by Sports Illustrated as one of the “Most Influential Minorities in Sports.”
Faculty member Derrick Alridge named one of 10 outstanding young African-American scholars in the nation by Black Issues in Higher Education. LGBT Resource Center opens under the direction of Michael Shutt (PhD ’06).
Juanita Cousins is named first female African-American editor-in-chief of The Red & Black and alumnus Natasha Trethewey (AB ’89) receives the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Native Guard, highlighting the role of a regiment of black Union soldiers during the Civil War.
Milly Legra (ABJ ’02) named director of new student orientation in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Hadjii Hand (ABJ ’98) writes, directs and stars in BET series Somebodies, shot in Athens about an undergraduate at a large university trying to figure out his place in the world.
Christina Swoope, the first female African-American drum major of the Redcoat Marching Band, is named Homecoming queen and orientation leader Darryl Tricksey is king.
Broadway performer Tituss Burgess (AB ’01) presents one-man show at the Morton Theatre to kick off the centennial celebration of the historic Athens venue.