University of Louisville Magazine

FALL 2013

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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Page 35 of 75

African-Americans played major roles in the location and the shaping of our great university as it expanded in the 20th century. In the 1920s, trustees decided to expand the undergraduate program and relocate from downtown to a donated plot of land from the Belknap family in the Highlands area of the city. Because the school was municipally financed, a $1 million bond in capital funds was required to make the move. However, at the time, the university was segregated, and African-American voters in Louisville were successful in their efforts to deny the approval of the bond. Instead, a compromise was reached in which the trustees sold the donated land 34|LOUISVILLE.EDU and purchased the campus many of us now call home. Along with this acquisition, the trustees acquired Simmons College — an established, historically black school — and renamed it Louisville Municipal College (LMC), a separate and segregated municipal college under the administration of the Board of Trustees of the University of Louisville. When UofL was integrated in 1951, one faculty member — Charles H. Parrish, Jr. — transferred from LMC, becoming UofL's first African-American educator. Today, the area known as Parrish Court (above, top) just south of the quad is named after him. Recently, thanks in large part to the efforts of Blaine Hudson, late dean of Arts and Sciences, the university has established Freedom Park near The Playhouse between Second and Third Streets. Completed in 2012, the site features 10 markers depicting the story of black progress from settlement to the present. A pergola at the north end (above, bottom) displays biographical statements and photos of nine civil rights activists who advanced inclusiveness at UofL.

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