Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Desegregation of the University of Tennessee
During a federal lawsuit in 1952, the University of Tennessee opened enrollment in the graduate and law programs of the institution to African Americans. Gene Mitchell Gray enrolled in graduate school, and Lincoln Blakeney enrolled in the College of Law. Facing a legal challenge from African American applicant Theotis Robinson, Jr. to segregation in undergraduate programs, the Board of Trustees opened enrollment in all programs of the university to all races on November 18, 1960. African Americans Charles Edgar Blair, Willie Mae Gillespie, and Theotis Robinson, Jr. enrolled as undergraduates on January 4, 1961.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 1E 117.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 4, 1961.
Location. 35° 57.428′ N, 83° 55.598′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1404 Circle Drive, Knoxville TN 37916, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land Grant University (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wait Field (about 500 feet away); Fort Byington (about 600 feet away); James Rufus Agee (about 600 feet away); General Clifton Bledsoe Cates (about 700 feet away); Fort Sanders (approx. 0.2 miles away); 79th New York Infantry (Highlanders) Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Neyland Stadium (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Also see . . . UTK Celebrates 50 Years of Undergraduate Desegregation. (Submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.