Two Village residence halls are set to be dedicated to Black Auburn alumni as announced at the latest Auburn University Board of Trustees meeting on Friday morning.
Tiger Hall will be dedicated to Bessie Mae Holloway, the first Black member of the Board of Trustees. Eagle Hall will be dedicated to Josetta Brittain Matthews, the University's first Black graduate and its first Black faculty member.
Holloway earned her doctorate degree in education from Auburn. She was appointed as a University trustee in 1985 by then-Gov. George Wallace and would go on to serve on the board for a full 12-year term in 1987.
Matthews was both a 1966 and 1975 Auburn graduate, earning first a master's degree in education and later a doctorate degree in education. In 1972, she joined the College of Liberal Arts as a French and history instructor.
Trustee Elizabeth Huntley, co-chair of a task force to evaluate structures and monuments on University property, revealed the namings as two of seven total namings that were approved. No other dedications were disclosed during the meeting.
Huntley, who is a 1993 Auburn graduate in political science, shared that she had personally met Holloway during her time as a student on campus. Huntley called her a "student trustee" because of how personable Holloway was with the student body during her term.
Holloway died on Sep. 11, 2019 in Prichard, Alabama, and Matthews died on Dec. 23, 2019, in Montgomery, Alabama.
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