Plaza named for first African-American students to attend USM - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Plaza named for first African-American students to attend USM

Raylawni Branch (left) and Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain (far right) unveil a plaque Friday honoring them for helping to desegregate USM in 1965. Raylawni Branch (left) and Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain (far right) unveil a plaque Friday honoring them for helping to desegregate USM in 1965.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A new plaza at Southern Miss has been named in honor of the the first two African-American students to attend that university.

The Armstrong-Branch Plaza recognizes the efforts of Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain and Raylawni G.A. Branch to desegregate USM. Both enrolled at the university on Sept. 6, 1965.

Friday morning, a plaque bearing their names was unveiled and a ribbon was cut officially opening the Plaza.

"I am so overwhelmed," said Gwendolyn Armstrong Chamberlain. "I can't begin to express how grateful I am to be a Golden Eagle and recognized for the long way that we have come in education and especially here at USM," she said.

"I don't know what to say, it's just a wonderful thing," said Raylawni Branch. "You don't think of your name before you die, being on anything," she said.  

 

The Mississippi Dept. of Transportation provided funds to build both the plaza and a new fence which runs along the south end of the campus.

The plaza is located between Joseph Greene Hall and the Liberal Arts Building.

 

 Copyright 2013 WDAM. All rights reserved.

 

 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Argument turns into incident involving weapons, gunfire in Hattiesburg

    Argument turns into incident involving weapons, gunfire in Hattiesburg

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 4:00 PM EDT2018-04-25 20:00:33 GMT
    Lanon Manzie (Photo source: Hattiesburg Police Department)Lanon Manzie (Photo source: Hattiesburg Police Department)
    Lanon Manzie (Photo source: Hattiesburg Police Department)Lanon Manzie (Photo source: Hattiesburg Police Department)

    What started as an argument escalated to an incident involving a baseball bat and shovel and eventually led to gunfire Tuesday evening in Hattiesburg.

    More >>

    What started as an argument escalated to an incident involving a baseball bat and shovel and eventually led to gunfire Tuesday evening in Hattiesburg.

    More >>
  • MS National Guard continues training for Middle East deployment

    MS National Guard continues training for Middle East deployment

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 3:38 PM EDT2018-04-25 19:38:28 GMT
    The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training. (Photo source: MS National Guard)The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training. (Photo source: MS National Guard)
    The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training. (Photo source: MS National Guard)The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training. (Photo source: MS National Guard)
    Mississippi National Guard soldiers continue training ahead of a summer 2018 deployment to the Middle East. The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training, according to a National Guard press release. The Mississippi National Guard announced in March that more than 4,000 soldiers would head to Fort Bliss for three months of training and a nine-month deployment oversees.  Along with members of the Kansas Nation...More >>
    Mississippi National Guard soldiers continue training ahead of a summer 2018 deployment to the Middle East. The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team has been at Fort Bliss, Texas for more than a month for mobilization training, according to a National Guard press release. The Mississippi National Guard announced in March that more than 4,000 soldiers would head to Fort Bliss for three months of training and a nine-month deployment oversees.  Along with members of the Kansas Nation...More >>
  • No resentencing hearing for Kenneth Fairley, judge rules

    No resentencing hearing for Kenneth Fairley, judge rules

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 3:09 PM EDT2018-04-25 19:09:58 GMT
    Kenneth Fairley’s three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of government property stands. (Photo source: Forrest County Jail)Kenneth Fairley’s three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of government property stands. (Photo source: Forrest County Jail)
    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a pair of charges and remanded another to a lower court in the conviction of Hattiesburg Pastor Kenneth Fairley. (Photo source: Forrest County Jail)The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a pair of charges and remanded another to a lower court in the conviction of Hattiesburg Pastor Kenneth Fairley. (Photo source: Forrest County Jail)

    Kenneth Fairley’s three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of government property stands.

    More >>

    Kenneth Fairley’s three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of government property stands.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly