LaGrange College recognizes first African American student

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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LANETT — A Chambers County native has received a commendation on having been a trailblazer in pursuing an equal-opportunity education. During a recent Black History celebration at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Mrs. Alfreda Barrow Fannings received a framed commendation signed by LaGrange College President Dr. Susanna L. Baxter.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to recognize you as the first African-American student to enroll at LaGrange College,” the commendation reads. “What an incredible mark you made on the history of our institution!”

Two years following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LaGrange College then-President Dr. Waights G. Henry announced that the school’s board of trustees had voted to comply with that act.

“You entered LaGrange College in March 1967 during our spring quarter as a commuter student from Fredonia, Alabama,” the commendation continues. “The courage you showed in enrolling at LaGrange College at a time of great uncertainly and civil unrest paved the way for so many others. In a time when many barriers were in place to prevent African-American students from seeking higher education, you faced those barriers with thoughtful determination.”

Baxter noted that LC’s mission statement calls on leaders of the school to prepare students to become successful, responsible citizens who aspire to lives of integrity and moral courage.

“Mrs. Fannings, we are grateful for trailblazers like you,” the commendation reads. “We celebrate your act of moral courage and all that you did to help shape LaGrange College into what it is today, an institution where all are welcomed, and the ideals of diversity and inclusion are paramount. This month, and indeed, always, we celebrate your place in the history of LaGrange College.”