February 25, 2021: UGA Campus Read Closing Event

An Education in Georgia: Looking toward the Future

To wrap up the 60th anniversary desegregation campus-wide reading event for An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, and the Integration of the University of Georgia (UGA Press), Mary Frances Early, music educator, writer, and the first African-American student to graduate from UGA, and Phaidra Buchanan, current undergraduate majoring in social studies education and minoring in German, Foundation Fellow, and UGA’s first African-American Rhodes Scholar (2021), were in conversation with moderator Cynthia Dillard, Mary Frances Early Endowed Professor of Teacher Education at UGA, to discuss the past, present, and future of a desegregated UGA.

This event was sponsored by the University of Georgia Press, the New Georgia Encyclopedia, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Mary Frances Early College of Education. This event was also presented in partnership with the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts as part of the 2021 Global Georgia Initiative public events series.

Watch the February 25th event here:

Mary Frances Early is a retired music educator and music textbook writer and was the first African American student to graduate from the University of Georgia in 1962, following the footsteps of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, who enrolled shortly before her in 1961. After retiring from public school teaching in 1994, she went on to teach at Morehouse College and Spelman College; she later served as chair at Clark Atlanta University’s music department. In 2018, she was awarded UGA’s President’s Medal, and in the following year, UGA’s College of Education was named in her honor. She continues to be an advocate for education and an active member within the UGA community.

Phaidra Buchanan is a senior at UGA studying Social Studies Education and German. Phaidra helped examine the university’s role in the institution of slavery and studied the lived experiences of enslaved people connected to the university as a member of the History of Slavery at UGA research team. She also volunteers with U-Lead, an organization working to ensure equal access to higher education for students of immigrant families. Phaidra plans a career as a teacher “who fosters criticality, compassion, and joy,” and as an advocate for policies that empower students and communities.



Support for this event was provided by the generous contributions of Elizabeth and Sheffield Hale, Sandra and Cecil Hudson, Joan and Gary Bertsch, Bertis and Katherine Downs,  Clif and Sylvia Pannell, and The Dan and Sara Wyche Coenen Fund in honor of Harold W. Rittenberry