University of Georgia Honors Segregationist Governor

The University of Georgia has named a resident hall after S. Ernest Vandiver, a man who served as governor of Georgia from 1959 until 1963. In 1958 Vandiver campaigned as a staunch racial segregationist. At that time he vowed that “not one” African American would ever enter one of the state’s white universities. But when the courts ordered the racial integration, Vandiver complied with the court mandate, avoiding confrontations that would later encompass the campuses of the University of Mississippi and the University of Alabama.

After the initial racial integration of the University of Georgia, Vandiver pushed through the repeal of legislation that required public schools in the state to close if black and white students were obliged to attend the same school.