UWA to honor first black student

Published 10:19 am Thursday, March 24, 2011

LIVINGSTON – The University of West Alabama on Saturday, April 16 will dedicate the Liza James Howard Courtyard in honor of the University’s first African American student.

Located on the east side of Bibb Graves Hall, the courtyard features a monument to the 1969 and 1976 elementary education graduate, surrounded by personalized brick pavers sold to benefit the University’s Liza J. Howard Scholarship Fund.

“This institution is pleased to honor Mrs. Howard for her many contributions to UWA and the people of Sumter County,” said UWA President Richard D. Holland.

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Howard, a York native, was in 2004 inducted into UWA’s Society of the Golden Key, the highest honor given to a University graduate or faculty member. In addition, the National Alumni Association’s Liza J. Howard Alumni Chapter was established in her honor.

Howard served for 30 years at Livingston Junior High School. Following her retirement from teaching, she was named regional vice president of Primerica Financial Services.

She has served as vice president of the Sumter County Head Start Policy Board and a member of the York City Council, Sumter County Industrial Development Board, and numerous education organizations. She received the Trail Blazer Award for her community leadership.

The dedication begins at 5 p.m. and includes remarks by President Holland and a performance by the UWA Singers.