For Immediate Release
April 25, 2016
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Brockport Unveils Plaque Honoring its First African American Female Graduate
Fannie Barrier Williams remembered as Brockport kicks off Inauguration Week
BROCKPORT, NY—A permanent tribute to one of The College at Brockport’s most significant alumnae now resides in Hartwell Hall.
A plaque honoring Fannie Barrier Williams, who became the first African American female graduate of the College (then known as the Brockport Normal School) in 1870, was formally unveiled during a ceremony on April 25.
Williams was an educated reformer and social activist who, according to historian Wanda Hendricks, is one of the most noteworthy African American women of her time. After leaving Brockport, Williams went on to become a national representative for black women. She was one of the major figures in the development of the National Association of Colored Women and she led the movement to organize the state-based Federation of Afro-American Women’s Clubs in Illinois.
“Williams’ legacy then and now is that nobody should be allowed to define you,” said Darwin Prioleau,PhD, dean of the School of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, in her welcoming remarks. “You have the right to define yourself.”
The event kicked off a series of festivities leading up to the inauguration of Heidi Macpherson, PhD, as Brockport’s seventh president at 2 pm on April 29.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
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