Univ. Of Alabama’s 1st Black Student (1956) Receives Honorary Doctorate
The source states that Autherine Foster’s dismissal from the University of Alabama was annulled in 1988. Then, she went on to graduate from the university with a master’s degree in education, circa 1991.
“I wasn’t crying, but tears was just rolling down my eyes because it’s just so different and so unique for me to be able to come back to such a university as this,” Autherine Foster tells WBRC-6. “The difference is the crowds are here. I see laughing faces instead of people frowning and displeased with me being here.”
With her honorary degree in mind, a pair of scholarships are also named after her. On top of that, as can be seen from the photo on the previous page, a historic marker sits near the site where she first tried to enroll in the school.
It was at that point, Autherine was chased away by an angry mob. Moreover, according to CNN, the campus clock is named after her — as the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower.
University President Stuart R. Bell has this to say about all her accolades and recognition.
“Her tenacious spirit, gracious heart for helping others and unfailing belief in the value of education and human rights positions Mrs. Foster as a meaningful example of what one can achieve in the face of adversity.”
Autherine Foster was the first Black student to attend a white school, college, or university in the state of Alabama.