TOUGALOO, Miss. (WLBT) - Hundreds of Tougaloo College students reached an important milestone in their lives Sunday.
They walked across the stage, shook the president’s hand, and received their diplomas.
As students celebrated their accomplishments, the college also honored nine trailblazers who helped set the path before them.
The school awarded members of the Tougaloo Nine with honorary doctorate degrees.
The nine individuals are known for a “read-in” they staged 60 years ago to integrate the Jackson municipal library. Members of the Tougaloo Nine said they’re grateful to be honored for the stand they took six decades ago.
“This is one of the greatest honors I’ve received in my life, and I’ve received many many honors in my 83 years of living,” said Alfred Cook, member of the Tougaloo Nine.”
What a special occasion this is. I am truly honored,” said Albert Lassiter, member of the Tougaloo Nine. “Not only was it not expected, but it’s such a grand occasion to receive this Doctor of Humane Letters, and I just can’t thank Tougaloo enough.”
“What I saw today was the empowerment of what Tougaloo College meant to me,” said Geraldine Hollis, member of the Tougaloo Nine. “To come to a place where you’re focused and everybody is together, it’s not like the universities that I’ve attended to get Master’s degrees and things; it’s more of a family connection where you know everyone.
“Also, this weekend, Tougaloo College held an inauguration ceremony for its president Dr. Carmen Walters.
Walters is serving as the 14th president at Tougaloo College.