Celebrating the History of Desegregation at Murray State University
First African-American student, Mary Ford Holland, 1955
First African-American graduate, Nancy Tyler, 1961
In 1961, Vador Perry, became the first black student to attend the Murray Training School.
First African-American varsity athlete, Dennis Jackson, 1960
The first black person to serve as a full time faculty member was Ernest Brooks. He taught in the Department of Guidance and Counseling beginning in 1970.
Hopkins County native Jerry Sue Pritchett Owens Thornton, ’69, became the first black graduate student to teach at the university.
African-American Distinguished Alumnus Recipients
1987 Jerry Pritchett Thornton, Ph.D. ’69
1992 Walter Bumphus, Ph.D. ’71
2005 Don Tharpe, Ph.D.’74
African-American Golden Horseshoe Recipient
1997 Michael Hamilton ’70
Outstanding Senior Man
1997 Reuel Shepherd
2007 Terone Lewis