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50th Anniversary of Desegregation

Registering for Class

About Desegregation

As we prepared to commemorate the watershed moment that USC opened it doors to African-American students for the first time since Reconstruction, we debated a small but important distinction: desegregation vs. integration.

Desegregation vs. Integration

The words in modern usage would seem to be almost interchangeable, but there is a fine-line distinction that we wanted to make.

While we and other Southern universities have made great progress in the past 50 years to fully integrate our campuses, it didn’t happen overnight and, in many ways, the process of integration is not complete.

What happened 50 years ago was desegregation. It is the first step to integration and brings a racial minority into a majority culture. It was largely a legal matter.

In its fullest meaning, to integrate is to unify and consolidate into one system or body. It removes barriers to association, creates equal opportunity regardless of race and develops a culture that draws on diverse traditions.

To paraphrase a quote often used during the civil rights movement: We aren’t what we ought to be, we aren’t what we want to be … but we aren’t what we used to be. With that mantra in mind, we will be vigilant to maintain our forward progress of fully integrating all people and cultures into our university and providing equal access to education for all.


Desegregation Committee


Lacy Ford
Valinda W. Littlefield


Nate Barber
Henri Etta Baskins
Luther Batiste
Anne Bezuidenhout
Charles Bierbauer
Pamela Bowman
Burnele Powell
Ann Cameron
Thorne Compton
Bobby Donaldson
Jenna Eckel
Walter Edgar
Bud Ferillo
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick
Don Fowler
Bobby Gist
Tayloe Harding Jr.
Cantey Heath Jr.
Wes Hickman
Danielle Holley-Walker
Derrick Huggins
Jim Hunter Jr.
Page Ivey
Dwight James
Nancy Jeeter
Christopher Leevy-Johnson

Jenny Mack
Tom McNalley
Shirley Mills
Otis Morris
Willie Odom
Cindy Oswald
Deborah Owens
Pam Pope
Dennis Pruitt Sr.
Cynthia Randolph
Chanda Robinson
Amy Shumaker
Carl Solomon
Amy Stone
Betsy Suddeth
Kenny Vincent
Lemuel Watson
Elizabeth West


Tiye Gordon
Chloe Green
Robert Greene
Ramon Jackson
Tyler Parry
Makiera Simmons


Geniese James
Sarah Livingston
Jenna Eckel

Event Planners
Sept. 11, 2013

Pamela Bowmen
Betsey Suddeth


Peggy Binette


Elaine Delk
Beth Wells

North Osborne Commemorative Garden

Nikky Finney
Lacy Ford
Pearl Fryar
Derek Gruner
Emily Jones
Tom Knowles
Valinda W. Littlefield
Yancey Modesto
Elizabeth West

Funded By

Office of the President
Office of the Provost
College of Arts and Sciences
Bank of America

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