Auburn University’s new site on the campus makes history as they honor its first black student.
The student was identified as Harold A. Franklin, who enrolled as a graduate student in January 1964, died on Sept. 9 at the age of 88.
Harold Alonza Franklin Sr. was known as an American academic who became the first black student to attend Auburn University in 1964 after he successfully sued the university for excluding him because of race.
The members of the Franklin family and the University dedicated a marker and a brick courtyard near the library during a ceremony on Thursday
“Dr. Franklin’s bold journey is the epitome of a spirit that is not afraid. His story continues to move our hearts, stimulate our minds and inspire our lives. The same spirit dwells within, reminding us that truth will always prevail.”, stated in the Franklin’s bronze plaque.
in a statement released by the university, Harold Franklin Jr. expressed his gratitude
“There’s nothing more we can say as a family except thank you for all you’ve done. So, I’d like to thank all of you not from the bottom of my heart, but from my entire heart.”
Franklin, despite his admission, faced many challenges during his time on the Plains and initially was not allowed to defend his thesis at Auburn, pushing him to leave AU in 1965 and had earned a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver.
He then was allowed to complete the thesis process at Auburn and participated in commencement exercises.
According to reports, before he retired 1992, Franklin taught history at Alabama State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Tuskegee Institute and Talladega College