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James Meredith Graduates from University of Mississippi

Aug. 18, 1963 - James Meredith received a degree from the University of Mississippi today. He thus became the first Negro alumnus in the 115-year history of the school. Mr. Meredith received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science only 100 yards from the scene of bloody riots that accompanied his admission last Sept. 30. The commencement ceremony went off without incident. The campus was dotted with local policemen, but they had little to do except watch the ceremony. Mr. Meredith, wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a black cap and gown with white tassel, accepted his degree from Chancellor J.D. Williams. The 30-year-old Air Force veteran, who lives in Jackson, walked with 440 other degree recipients through the administration building, through the center of the grove of trees where last fall’s rioting took place, and then across a street. The Rev. William Arthur Pennington of St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Oxford delivered the invocation. He said: “We live in a difficult time when it is apparent that men do not love one another.” He prayed for “unity out of discord, love out of hate, hope out of despair.”


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