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Celebrating the first Black Undergraduates of 1956

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Dear DDCE Community,

This fall marks a momentous anniversary as we celebrate 60 years since the first Black undergraduates enrolled at UT Austin. These fearless students more than 70 in all, changed the trajectory of The University of Texas at Austin forever. The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement as well as the university community offers the earliest of Precursors our most sincere appreciation for all that they accomplished.

On Friday, September 9, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the LBJ Auditorium, we will formally honor the 1956 Black undergraduates at Facing the Winds of Change with Dignity, Courage and Wisdom. The program is free and open to the public and will feature remarks by President Gregory Fenves, Chancellor William McRaven, State Sen. Rodney Ellis, as well as a number of Precursors.

As has been retold, when the Precursors of 1956 entered campus for the first time, they entered a space which was not at all welcoming. But through grit and perseverance they excelled, graduated, and broke down the barriers for future generations of Black Longhorns.

Our university is so blessed to have the Precursors, for they provide us and our students with so much as they ensure that what they accomplished some six decades ago is never forgotten. We hope that you will be able to join us on September 9 as we honor and celebrate all that our first Black undergraduates accomplished.

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law