Alabama honors Autherine Lucy Foster’s legacy Thursday

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua

Hundreds gathered at the University of Alabama’s Foster Auditorium Thursday, there paying tribute to the life and legacy of Autherine Lucy Foster.

Foster, who died March 2, was the first Black student ever to enroll at Alabama in 1956. She was a student for three days before being expelled over threats of riots and violence.

Less than a week before her death, Foster was present at UA in front of the Department of Education’s now-former Graves Hall, which was renamed Autherine Lucy Hall in her honor.

UA President Stuart Bell opened the memorial service.

“We certainly hope today that this service will honor her, that it will provide comfort for her family and friends but also to provide each of us the power of one individual to bring about change,” Bell said.

Foster has several landmarks on the university’s campus commemorating her legacy, including a plaque in front of Autherine Lucy Hall. Foster Auditorium is named for former UA President Richard Clarke Foster.

Foster’s daughter, Grazia Foster Kungu, shared some fond memories of her mother at the service.

“I’m just going to take a few moments to thank God for the amazing life he designed, he guided, he protected, and now has received it back to Himself,” she said.

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