Autherine Lucy Foster, First Black Student at University of Alabama, Dies at 92

Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student at the University of Alabama (UA), died on March 2 morning at the age of 92, the university announced.

“The UA community is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster,” UA President Stuart Bell said in a statement.

“While we mourn the loss of a legend who embodied love, integrity, and a spirit of determination, we are comforted by knowing her legacy will continue at The University of Alabama and beyond… Dr. Foster will always be remembered as one who broke barriers, reminded us of the respect due to every individual, and lived a life of strength in steadfast service to her students and community,” Bell further said.

Foster faced racist mobs and death threats when she briefly attended the former all-white university as a graduate student studying education in 1956.

A school board ultimately expelled Foster after only three days of classes due to failure to ensure her safety.

Foster returned to UA in 1992 and earned her master’s degree.

In 2019, UA awarded her an honorary doctorate.

Foster’s death came less than a week after UA officials named the campus building where she briefly attended in her honor and proclaimed her a master teacher.


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