The University of Alabama has announced plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the racial desegregation of the university. In 1956 Autherine Lucy enrolled in a graduate program but was suspended three days later for her own safety and she was later expelled. On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood, under the protection of federal marshals and the federalized Alabama National Guard, finally broke the racial barrier and enrolled as undergraduate students. That day, Alabama Governor George Wallace made a ceremonial stand in the schoolhouse door protesting the federal court order that called for the admittance of the Black students.
Throughout the year, the university will hold seminars, lectures, and other events to celebrate 50 years of racial diversity on campus. The university has debuted a new website that will publicize events associated with the anniversary.
Today, there are more than 3,000 African American undergraduate students on the Tuscaloosa campus. They make up 12 percent of the undergraduate student body.