Foster Auditorium is the site of the June 11, 1963,
“stand in the schoolhouse door”
by Governor George C. Wallace in defiance of a court order requiring The University of Alabama to admit African-American students Vivian Malone and James Hood. President John F. Kennedy placed the Alabama National Guard under federal control to enforce the court order as Wallace refused to obey. Wallace then stepped aside and the students registered for class. That night, President Kennedy went on television to declare civil rights no longer simply a legal issue but a moral issue and appealed to the nation’s sense of fairness. One week later, he submitted a comprehensive civil rights bill that became the foundation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
July 13, 2004
stepped through the schoolhouse door on June 11, 1963. She became the University’s first African-American graduate on May 30, 1965, when she received a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters on August 12, 2000. Her sacrifice, courage and commitment to simple justice guaranteed educational opportunities for all students.
"There will come a day in your life when you must act for others… and you must be ready. You must be bold, have courage and walk through a door that leads to opportunity for others.” Vivian Malone
became the first African-American student to enroll in The University of Alabama on February 3, 1956. Because of significant unrest on campus, her initial enrollment lasted only three days. She returned to the University in the 1980s, and earned a master’s degree in education on August 17, 1991. She is an enduring symbol of what one person acting with courage and commitment can accomplish.
“My response to fear is: do it anyway. Let nothing stop you. You have to push forward.” Autherine Lucy
officially desegregated The University of Alabama on June 11, 1963, when he walked into Foster Auditorium to enroll in classes. While he left the University before completing his undergraduate degree, he returned to campus and earned a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies on May 17, 1997. Because he believed in himself and in the power of his dreams, he opened the doors of opportunity for others.
“One person can make a difference if that one person is committed to making a difference.” James Hood
The Autherine Lucy Clock Tower is dedicated to the sacrifice and commitment of a courageous individual who took a stand for change at a crucial time in the history of The University of Alabama. The open arches, which mirror the architecture of Foster Auditorium, illustrate the opportunities that are available to individuals who have the courage and persistence to walk through the door.
The Malone-Hood Plaza is dedicated to the courage and values of those who bore the burden of the struggle. The University of Alabama honors their actions and the actions of all who work to break down barriers and overcome obstacles in the pursuit of education.
November 3, 2010
The University of Alabama