Campus Life Pavilion to be dedicated during Homecoming to black students who integrated Emory
By John Baker Brown, Emory Campus Life | Emory Report | Oct. 18, 2017
The Campus Life Pavilion, located on Peavine Creek Drive at the former site of the Black Student Alliance House, incorporates elements from the previous structure and will feature a plaque honoring African American students who integrated the university.
“The thirteen stars above symbolize the journey of the thirteen African American students who integrated Emory University in 1962 and 1963.”
The stars are incorporated into a beam over the main entrance to the new Campus Life Pavilion. The words are inscribed for posterity on a cast-aluminum plaque mounted on a granite wall at the base of the new facility, which will be formally dedicated on Friday, Oct. 20, during Homecoming.
The outdoor student pavilion, located across from Chappell Park baseball field at 716 Peavine Creek Drive, provides an informal social space to accommodate flexible programming for students and other campus groups.
The message on the plaque also explains that the Black Student Alliance (BSA) House was located on the same site from 1986 to 2011. Established in 1969 by Emory, the house occupied several campus locations over the years.
The statement concludes: “We honor the legacy of the courageous students who helped to integrate Emory, those who have inhabited the BSA House over the years, and the countless others who have contributed so richly to the polycultural community that is Emory today.”
According to a second plaque, inset in the walkway of the main entrance: “The steel beam above and many wooden elements of the ceiling” were structural components of the BSA House, “incorporated to help carry forward the spirit” of that earlier structure.
The dedication ceremony, set for 7-9 p.m. Friday evening, will feature remarks by President Claire E. Sterk and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair, a presentation by Emory students and a performance by the vocal group Voices. Food and drinks will be served.
“Emory University today — a little more than half a century after the first 13 black students arrived — is recognized as one of the nation’s most diverse university campuses," Nair says. "That may be the greatest tribute to those students and their successors, who represent the rich tapestry of the world’s people and cultures.”