University of Georgia to Name Building in Honor of Pioneering Black Enrollees Hunter and Holmes
The University of Georgia plans to name the 95-year-old Academic Building on North Campus in honor of Charlayne Hunter and the late Dr. Hamilton Holmes, who registered for classes in the building when they became the first African American students to enroll at UGA in 1961.
Georgia’s University System Board of Regents unanimously approved the request last month to name the structure the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building.
Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) and Holmes walked into the Academic Building on Jan. 7, 1961, where they went to the registrar’s office and registered for classes, thus ending 160 years of racial segregation at UGA.
Hunter and Holmes both graduated two years later. Hunter is an internationally known journalist, currently the bureau chief in Johannesburg, South Africa, for CNN. Holmes was a prominent Atlanta orthopedic surgeon. Holmes died in 1995 in Atlanta following heart bypass surgery.
UGA will hold a public symposium in January and other events to observe the 40th anniversary of desegregation. Hunter-Gault will deliver the annual Holmes-Hunter Lecture as part of the symposium. The building also will be dedicated on that day, with Hunter-Gault and members of Holmes’ family expected to be in attendance.
“When Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes walked through the arch and registered for classes in the Academic Building, the mission and direction of the University of Georgia were forever changed,” says UGA’s president, Dr. Michael F. Adams. “Their courageous act paved the way for the University of Georgia to be an educational institution that serves all citizens. Naming this building for them ensures that their personal contributions will never be forgotten.”
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