Appalachian to hold Integration Commemoration


The Appalachian Online

Tommy Culkin


On Friday, Oct. 2, Appalachian State University will hold a Commemoration of Integration as a part of its annual Homecoming festivities.

The ceremony will educate attendees about the history of integration on campus and honor the people who were influential in bringing about integration at Appalachian State.

Four former faculty members and students will receive the Faces of Courage award in recognition of their impact on the university.

“All of these people made tremendous contributions to the university and to the community,” said LaTanya Afolayan, the associate vice chancellor for development at Appalachian State.

The four award recipients are Barbara Reeves Hart, Carolyn Anderson, Willie Fleming, and Zaphon Wilson.

Hart is the first African American to receive a master’s degree from Appalachian State. She received her master’s degree in deaf education in 1965. After receiving her degree, Hart became a public school speech-language pathologist.

Anderson was the first African-American faculty member at Appalachian State, serving as a math professor.

Fleming, who received his undergraduate degree in 1980 and his master’s degree in 1984, was one of the founding members of the Black Student Association and the Black Faculty and Staff Association at Appalachian State. Fleming played an important role in bringing the National PanHellenic Council to Appalachian State and was also the founder of the ASU Gospel Choir.

Wilson, who received his master’s degree from Appalachian State in 1977, was a faculty member in the former Department of Political Science and Urban Planning and Development. He was the first assistant to the provost for minority affairs. Additionally, Wilson was the founder of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at Appalachian State.

Four presenters will give the recipients their awards: Stephanie Billings, the president of the Appalachian State Alumni Council; R. Vaughn Hayes, the president of the ASU Foundation; Brad Adcock, the chairman of the Appalachian State Board of Trustees; and Doug Miskew, the chairman of the Appalachian State Board of Visitors.

There will also be a brief video presentation, detailing the careers and experiences of the four award recipients.

“The video will share their thoughts regarding their Appalachian experiences and highlighting the impact they made on their communities,” Afolayan said.

As another part of the event, three freshmen will receive a $1,000 scholarship. This is the first year that the scholarship has been given out, and it’s designed to improve diversity in Appalachian State’s student body.

The students receiving the scholarship are Troy Boyd, Jazmine Henderson, and Latanya Gordon.

Afolayan said she hopes that the commemoration will serve as an educational opportunity for people.

“I’m excited because I think that this is certainly going to expand many faculty and students’ understanding of the history of the university as it relates to integration,” Afolayan said. “It’s an experience for our students that I hope will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of App’s past.”