Historical figures revisit Foster

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Brittney Knox

Foster Auditorium, a historical landmark on campus, is now home to the Autherine Lucy clock tower and the Malone-Hood Plaza. Prominent figures will grace the Capstone today to remember the building’s storied history.

The morning will begin with a moderated panel discussion. The panel will include prominent figures from the University’s integration – Autherine Lucy, the first black UA student, and James Hood, whose enrollment, along with Vivian Malone Jones’, led to George Wallace’s infamous stand at Foster Auditorium. Jones’ siblings Sharon Malone Holder and Elvin Malone will also be at the discussion.

E. Culpepper Clark, former dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, will return to moderate the discussion, which will take place in the Ferguson Student Center Ballroom at 9 a.m.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to hear accounts from people that experienced the desegregation of UA firsthand,” said Kelli Knox-Hall, senior assistant director for the Ferguson Student Center.

She said it is great to have Clark come back and facilitate that discussion.

“I feel that the panel discussion is a great way to start the day and get ready for the clock tower dedication that afternoon,” she said.

Knox-Hall said the Ferguson Student Center has tried to reach out to as many students as possible to let them know about the historical significance of these figures and the events that will take place today.

“We wanted students to know the history,” she said. “Many teachers have partnered with us and gave us the support we needed to provide students with a sense of understanding about the events.”

Following the panel discussion, the dedication ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. in the Malone-Hood Plaza, with SGA President James Fowler and Black Student Union President Coresa Hogan co-hosting the event.

Fowler said he is very pleased to be a part of the event that will live forever in history as a time to recognize the courage of those who stood up for equality and unity.

“I am humbled and honored to participate in such an important moment in history,” he said.

After the dedication ceremony, there will be a community celebration at 2 p.m. on the Malone-Hood Plaza that will be hosted by the UA Black Faculty and Staff Association with the Alabama Brass Quintet and Afro-American Gospel Choir.

“We are glad to be hosting the panel discussion and helping coordinate these historical events,” Knox-Hall said. “The Ferguson Center is the central location for students, and we are honored to host the event.”

Those who attend the panel can enjoy a Chick-fil-A breakfast that will be provided after the discussion. Tickets are required and can be found for free at crimsonartstickets.com.