NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – On Saturday, July 1, members of the Williston Senior High School classes of 1969 and 1970 will have the chance to participate in a Legacy Graduation Ceremony with their classmates, a moment that was denied to them more than half a century ago. These alumni were not able to graduate from Williston after they were moved to New Hanover and Hoggard high schools in the summer of 1968 as part of desegregation.
New Hanover County, the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County Schools and Williston Alumni groups have partnered to organize the event as an opportunity for reconciliation and healing for these classes.
Community members are encouraged to watch the ceremony through a live stream available at WECT.com and on WECT’s Facebook page. New Hanover County, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County Schools will share WECT’s live stream to their Facebook platforms as well. The broadcast will start at 1:45 p.m., with the graduation ceremony slated to begin at 2 p.m. Due to capacity at the Williston Middle School gymnasium, all available tickets have been distributed to families and close friends of the graduates.
The keynote speaker for this event will be Professor Emeritus Phillip Clay, Ph.D. Dr. Clay is a Wilmington native, a 1964 Williston Senior High School alum, and the first Black Chancellor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
To learn more about the Williston Legacy Graduation, visit New Hanover County School’s website by clicking here. Additionally, a proclamation from the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners regarding the ceremony is available here, as well as a letter from City of Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo here.