History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 24

24 to desegregate UF graduate schools, starting a nine-year legal battle. Between 1946-1958, 85 Black students who applied to UF were denied admission. In 1958, Hawkins withdrew his application to the UF Law School in exchange for the desegregation of UF graduate and professional schools. In 1958, George Starke, a WWII Air Force veteran, became the first Black student admitted to the UF Law School. He initially attended class under police protection; he withdrew from UF after three semesters. The first Black female student was admitted in 1959. The first UF Black law student graduated in 1962. In 1962, UF admitted seven black students including the first black student to complete an undergraduate degree. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. This legislation forced social changes to occur more quickly than they were normally proceeding, especially in the South. The initial integration of UF proceeded peacefully. However, by 1968 campus unrest fueled by both peaceful and militant ant i-Vietnam War demonstrations and civil rights protests had peaked nationwide. The general consensus was that the UF administration had not done enough to encourage Black student enrollment and the hiring of Black faculty and administrators. In response to this, President Stephen C. O’Connell convened an Action Conference in May 1968 to discuss student concerns that included students, faculty, and administrators. From this conference, an Advisory Council was formed with similar membership to continue the dialogue. General progress was made in regard to the university’s Flavet III playground 1950s Photo Credit: UF Archives Digital Collection H i st o ry o f t h e U F D S A