TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama is planning to commemorate the 60th year anniversary when two Black students enrolled for classes at UA.

On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes at the University of Alabama despite Governor George Wallace’s unsuccessful attempt to block their enrollment.

Dr. G. Christine Taylor, UA’s VP of diversity, equity and inclusion, says that day means so much for the history and civil rights in Alabama.

“We are proud as an institution that these young people helped open some doors for so many people and they created access for so many people that was not there before,” Dr. Taylor said. “It’s much more than racial lines but that this campus was going to be more inclusive, and I am thankful for their courage.”

Pastor David Gay from Beulah Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa says that day changed the nation when Malone and Hood walked through the doors of Foster Auditorium to enroll, marking the beginning of school desegregation in Alabama.

“We often say we stand on the shoulders of giants. There are so many people who paved the way for us like Autherine Lucy and Vivan Malone and James Hood,” Gay said. “Those were people who were great pioneers and giants in that area who helped all of us and we stand on their shoulders today.”

The University of Alabama will hold several events on Sunday to pay tribute to the student’s courage who stood up against racism and fought for civil rights. For more information, click here.