- The Drum -
Special Edition
Celebrating 60 Years of Integration at FSU
November 2022

In 1962, 12 brave black and brown students enrolled in graduate-level science courses at Florida State University, marking the moment of integration at FSU and blazing the trail for thousands of students seeking higher education that looked like them.

In this Special Edition of "The Drum," the official e-newsletter of the FSU National Black Alumni, you will see some of the names and faces of those who paved the way for us.

We are standing on their shoulders and committed to assisting future generations of students of color. Please read through this newsletter and share it and any elements that resonate with you. 
We Say Their Names...
PLEASE NOTE: This record does not reflect a complete list. We welcome any corrections and/or additions to be sent to us at

Upcoming Events

The FSU President's Office, in conjunction with guidance and support from the FSU BA, will be hosting two consecutive events on Thursday, November 17th, to honor the 60th Anniversary of Integration at FSU.

They are as follows:

60th Anniversary of Integration Recognition Ceremony
Integration Statue Plaza
4:45 PM
The Longest Table
(in partnership with The Power of WE student organization)
Student Union Grand Ballrooms
6:00 PM
These events are open to all in the FSU community  
Questions? E-mail L. Shuntel Fuller.

Stay tuned for FSU BA events celebrating our integration
trailblazers in the coming Spring. 
Looking Back...
We have such a rich history at this institution. Here are some of our "firsts" at Florida State.

Click on the names below to learn more about these trailblazers. 
First Black Graduates:
Baccalaureate Male: Maxwell Courtney (1965 – Mathematics) 
Baccalaureate Female: 
Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker (1966 – Social Work)
Masters – 
Maxine A. Thurston-Fischer (1964 – Social Work)
Doctorate –
Klara Boyd Hadley (1969 - Ph.D. in English)
First Black Faculty:
Female –
Tonya A. Harris (1968): Hired on September 16, 1968, as a Nursing Instructor; and promoted to Assistant Professor in 1972-73. She retired on August 8, 2003, as Associate Professor.
Male – James L. “Jack” Gant (1970): Hired on September 18, 1970, as a Temporary Instructor in Educational Administration, but became a tenured faculty member. He was promoted to Dean of the College of Education, and Associate Professor, on July 19, 1974. He retired as Professor Emeritus on July 26, 1994.

First Black Administrator:

Dr. Bobby E. Leach was hired as the Vice President for Student Affairs in July 1978 and continued in this capacity until 1988. He died in 1989. The Bobby E. Leach Student Recreation Center, which opened on September 9, 1991, is named in his honor. 

For a list of more firsts, 
click here

Click the buttons below for a deeper dive into our history at
Florida State University.
Historical Overview
The 1971 Westcott Talk-In
A University in Transition
The Long Path to INTEGRATION
Getting Her Flowers...
Ms. Eva Killings, the official Ambassador of Love at FSU, will be honored with a Love and Appreciation Celebration. The event will occur on November 25th from 3-5 p.m. at the new Student Union.

Ms. Killings has been a source of light, love, and support for Florida State University for nearly 50 years and has truly been a blessing to our students, faculty, and staff. 

For more information on the celebration, click here. 
Join the FSUBA

Want to become an official member of the FSUBA?  Your membership to FSU’s Alumni Association is also your membership to the FSUBA!  


Become a member here:


Once you have established your OneFSU account, please go to My Profile and click on About Me. Once there, scroll down the page to the Affiliations section and click the checkbox for FSU Black Alumni Network (and any other affiliations).  Make sure to click the Submit button and you’re all set!

Want to check out a previous issue of "The Drum?"
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