January 4, 2024, marks the 60th anniversary of Auburn’s integration. On January 4, 1964, Dr. Harold A. Franklin blazed a trail for all those who would come behind him. This moment in our institution's history serves as a reminder of our charge to honor the past, recognize the present, and look toward the future. For Auburn’s commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the university’s integration, there will be a collaborative effort across university departments, unit leaders, student organizations, and alumni organizations to recognize the legacy of Dr. Harold A. Franklin and other trailblazers toward creating a campus where everyone is welcomed, valued, respected, and engaged.

To have commemorative events throughout 2024 included, please visit Please continue to check this page for updates.


Commemorative Events

January 9, 2024

60th Anniversary of Integration Commemorative Event
Location: Mell Classroom Building, Ralph Brown Draughon Library
Time: 4:00 p.m.


January 15, 2024

MLK Scholarship Breakfast
Location: The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

In partnership with Auburn University Outreach, Office of Inclusion and Diversity, and the National Forum of Black Public Administrators

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January 15, 2024

MLK Day of Service

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January 17, 2024

60th Anniversary of Integration Lunch and Learn

This event features a guest speaker and a visual “walk” through history of the last 60 years at Auburn since Dr. Harold A. Franklin first enrolled in 1964.


February 1, 2024

BSU’s Family Reunion: Neo Soul
Location: Melton Student Center Ballroom
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Current Students Only


February 3, 2024

Harold Franklin Society (Student Organization) Induction Ceremony

February 12-16, 2024

BSU Unity Week

Commemorating 60 years of integration and 40 years of BSU.

February 17, 2024

BSU 40th Anniversary Gala

5:00 PM in the Student Activities Center
Open to Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and community


February 21, 2024

BSU’s Jazz and Poetry
Location: Melton Student Center Ballroom
Attire: Semi Formal
Open to students, faculty, and staff
Time: 6:00 p.m.

February 27, 2024

Black History Month Through the Decades Alumni Panel and Networking Dinner
Location: Melton Student Center Ballroom
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | All are welcomed

Alumni attendance is highly encouraged

Co-sponsors are OID, BSU, EMERGE, and UPC.

April 19-21, 2024

Ninth Annual Black Alumni Weekend

Hosted by the Black Alumni Council, the weekend serves as a chance to celebrate the heritage, culture and legacy of Black alumni and forge the future for Black students at Auburn University.

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News highlights

Sixty years ago, Harold A. Franklin registered for classes at Auburn University, integrating the institution as its first African American student. His courage paved the way for future generations, and his legacy lives on today.

The Melton Scholars Program, administered by Auburn’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID), focuses on providing a supportive and enriching environment that empowers students to thrive academically, socially and personally.

More than 150 students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and family attended the second annual State of Inclusion and Diversity on April 20 at Auburn University’s Harold D. Melton Student Center Ballroom.

Auburn University today unveiled its new National Pan-Hellenic Council Legacy Plaza, a monument celebrating the history, legacy and cultural impact of Black Greek organizations on campus.

Auburn University honored one of its most esteemed alumni at a dedication ceremony for the Bessie Mae Holloway Hall in the Village area of campus.

Heidi Wright smiled wide and beamed with pride as Auburn University celebrated the life of her late mother, Josetta Brittain Matthews, at a special residence hall naming ceremony.

Harold Franklin arrived at the library at Auburn University on Jan. 4, 1964, to register for classes in the graduate school. He was the first African American student to attend Auburn University.



The legacy of Harold A. Franklin, Auburn University’s first African American student, is displayed on campus with a specially designed desegregation marker. Located adjacent to the Ralph Brown Draughon Library where Franklin first registered for classes, the marker was first erected in 2015. On November 11, 2021, about two months after Franklin’s death, a dedication ceremony was held at the historic site after being expanded to include a landscaped, brick courtyard.

The bronze plaque states, in part, “Dr. Franklin’s bold journey is the epitome of a spirit that is not afraid. His story continues to move our hearts, stimulate our minds and inspire our lives. The same spirit dwells within, reminding us that truth will always prevail.”

Auburn's Historical Progress

Auburn is dedicated to strengthening its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This historical timeline highlights some of the milestones since our founding as a land-grant institution, as we work toward the ideal environment for everyone in the Auburn Family.

Last updated: 04/30/2024