Courageous! That description given as part of a recognition of the first four African American professors to teach at Arkansas State University. The four individuals . . . Dr. Wilbert Gaines, the late Dr. C. Calvin Smith, the late Dr. Mossie Richmond, and Dr. Herman Strickland . . .are named “The Circle”. Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lonnie Williams says those families experienced hard times when they came to campus in the early 1970s.
“Desegregation was not an easy thing. It was not 1957, but it still was hard for these families to do what they did in the atmosphere of the late ‘60’s and early 1970’s,” said Williams.
Williams says the story of The Circle can help inspire future generations.
“The more a person can understand of where they are, it gives them a certain type of responsibility to learn the legacy that lead to them being there.”
Lonnie Williams. As part of a dedication ceremony this summer, one of the residence halls under construction will be named in honor of those individuals.