University of Florida Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Its Racial Integration

On September 15, 1958, George H. Starke enrolled at the College of Law of the University of Florida. Starke was the first black student to ever enroll at the University of Florida. The university had agreed to admit a black student in order to end nine years of litigation and after a pitiful attempt to create a separate but equal law school for blacks.

Today, 50 years after the initial racial integration of the university, more than 4,300 black students are now enrolled at the Gainesville campus. The university held a weeklong celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Starke’s enrollment in the law school. Starke was present and gave a speech on the steps of Tigert Hall.