University of Alabama trailblazer Autherine Lucy Foster dies

Autherine Lucy Honored

Less than a week after seeing her name grace the hall of the Department of Education building at the University of Alabama, Autherine Lucy Foster passed away.

Foster was the University of Alabama’s first Black student in 1956, with a goal of earning a master’s in education, but after just three days on campus, she was expelled over fears of threats and violence.

Her daughter, Angela Foster Dickerson, confirmed the news with news outlets this morning and said a statement would be coming soon.

Decades after her failed first attempt at attending UA, Foster returned to the university to complete her master’s. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the university.

On Friday, Feb. 25, Foster was in attendance as the University of Alabama cut the ribbon for the renamed Autherine Lucy Hall.

She was 92 years old.

The University of Alabama released the following statement this morning:

“The UA community is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend, Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “While we mourn the loss of a legend who embodied love, integrity and a spirit of determination, we are comforted by knowing her legacy will continue at The University of Alabama and beyond. We were privileged to dedicate Autherine Lucy Hall in her honor just last week and to hear her words of encouragement for our students. Dr. Foster will always be remembered as one who broke barriers, reminded us of the respect due to every individual and lived a life of strength in steadfast service to her students and community.”

More information on Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster can be found at


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