Participants in UNC’s Black Alumni Reunion gathered during RAMpage/Homecoming weekend to honor the achievements of pioneering African-American alumni as well as encourage students who will be the next generation of achievers.
The Nov. 2 Light on the Hill Society Banquet featured the annual presentation of the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Awards and the inaugural induction of “Golden Rams,” alumni who matriculated at the University 50 or more years ago. The reunion also awarded the first Light on the Hill Society Scholarships to students.
Another first was the Black Pioneers banquet on Nov. 3. This gathering of the University’s earliest black graduates recognized early African-American staff and faculty of the 1950s through the 1970s.
The Beech awards are named for Harvey E. Beech ’52 (LLB), one of the first African-Americans to be admitted to UNC following a court order compelling admission of four students to the law school in 1951.
The 2007 Beech award recipients are:
The Beech Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award was presented to Herbert Davis ’73 (MS, ’80 MPA, ’88 EdD) of Durham, associate director of undergraduate admissions and noted for his ability to recruit and retain African-American, Native American and other minority students.
The Beech Outstanding Senior Award was presented to Shawn Guy of Whitakers. A double major in information science and African-American studies, Guy takes technology to underserved groups, serves on the Minority Student Recruitment Committee, the Campus Y and other campus groups.
BAR’s first Light on the Hill Society Scholarships were awarded to two first-year students, Allyson Denise Diggins of Garner and Katherine Elizabeth Demby of Chapel Hill.
UNC’s first black graduates were inducted into the Golden Rams Society. All graduated from the schools of law, medicine or graduate programs. They are Harvey Beech ’52 (LLB), J. Kenneth Lee ’52 (LLBJD), James R. Walker Jr. ’52 (LLB), Major High ’53 (LLBJD), Dr. Edward Diggs ’55 (MD), Donald Horton ’55, Romallus Murphy ’56 (LLBJD), George Greene ’57 (LLBJD), Daniel Lanier ’57 and Dr. James Slade ’57 (MD). The awards for Beech, Walker, High and Slade were given posthumously.
The UNC Black Alumni Reunion was formally established in 1980 and is administered by the General Alumni Association.
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