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University of North Texas 50 Years of Progress & Opportunity, 1954-2004
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Barrier breakers from the 1950s

Barrier Breakers from the 1950s.
FIRST ROW, left to right: Earthly Miller, granddaughter of A. Tennyson Miller; Burlyce (Sherrell) Logan; Eleanor Stimpson; Floydell Barton Hall; Bettye Morgan. SECOND ROW: James Bowdre; Joe Atkins; Leon King; and Thomas King.

1954, Alfred Tennyson Miller, first African American student admitted to NT Ph.D. program (awarded posthumously)

1955, Joe Atkins, filed lawsuit to enroll as undergraduate student, earned M.Ed. from NT in 1967

1956 (spring), Irma E. Loud Sephas, first African American undergraduate student admitted to NT (honored posthumously)

1956 (summer), Hayward Sparks, first African American freshman admitted to NT

1956 (fall), first cohort of African American undergraduate transfer students

  • Ulysses S. Cox
  • Barbara Beverly Kincaide

1956 (fall), first cohort of African American NT freshmen

  • James Bowdre
  • Thelma Boykin Brown
  • Joyce Coleman
  • James Gayle
  • Floydell Barton Hall
  • Sherman Harris (honored posthumously)
  • Abner Haynes
  • Lurline Bradley Jackson
  • Dr. Leon King
  • Burlyce Sherrell Logan
  • Joyce Metters
  • Bettye Morgan
  • Lawrence Clinton Peppers
  • Eleanor Stimpson

1956, first African American athletes (football)

  • Abner Haynes
  • Dr. Leon King

1956, Mrs. Norvell Reed, accepting award on behalf of all Denton residents who housed NT students before they were permitted to live in on-campus housing

1956, Southeast Denton Ministerial Alliance, accepting award on behalf of all Denton churches who tended to the NT African American students’ spiritual and social needs

1957, first African Americans to live in on-campus NT student housing

  • Sylvia Boyd (honored posthumously)
  • Floydell Barton Hall
  • Elaine Harvey
  • Bettye Morgan

1957, first African Americans to receive NT graduate degrees

  • Dr. Theodore Lee, Jr.
  • Thelma Sparks
  • Augustus Whitted

1957, Barbara Beverly Kincaide, first African American student to receive an undergraduate degree from NT

1959 (January), Ulysses S. Cox, second African American student to receive undergraduate degree from NT

1959 (August), Dr. Herbie K. Johnson, third African American student to receive undergraduate degree from NT

1959, Bobbie Kimble Boyer, first African American Denton resident to graduate from NT


UNT would like to thank the following for their generosity in making these events possible
Diamond Sponsorship
UNT Office of the President
UNT Provost and VPAA
Platinum Sponsorship
UNT Division of Equity and Diversity

UNT University Relations, Communications & Marketing

Gold Sponsorship
Hallberg Foundation
UNT College of Arts and Sciences
Silver Sponsorship

Dr. James H. Gray

Quest Diagnostics
SBC Corporation
UNT Dallas Campus
UNT Trailblazers, Thomas King, President
Robert T. Victor
James & Ola Vineyard
UNT Department of Student Development
Robert and Marjorie Craft
SSP Consulting, L.C.
Joe and Gloria Kirven
Denton Area Teachers Credit Union
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Eta Chapter
DART - Gloria Dixon
UNT Fine Arts Series - Lindsey Keffer

Catherine W. Aker

A.J. Amundson
Ann Benson
Dr. Edward C. Bonk
Leemore F. Cook - Revocable Trust
Kippie Crouch
Thomas E. Dalton
Terese M. Gallinatti
Mary McDonnell Harris
Harold Heiberg
Alfred F. Hurley
Sara H. Kliewer
Carol Montgomery
King Moss II
Jerry Pinkerton
Robert D. Pulliam
Ross King Company
Sharon G. Sweat
Polly Thomas
Travis E. Tyer
Timothy S. Wicker
Charldean Newell
John Paul Eddy
David and Cheryl Kesterson
James and Karen Kelly
Gladys L. Longoria
Yuka Nakahara Goven
Carol and Ross King
James and Karen Duban
Patsy and Richard Calkins
Bill and Jo Luker
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