Dr. Harold Franklin has finally bagged a Master’s degree from Auburn University after many years of legal battle.
In 1964, Harold A. Franklin became the first African American student at Auburn University.
Franklin was admitted under heavy guard and was kept isolated from other students in campus housing. Although obstacles of the era prevented Dr. Franklin from completing his degree at Auburn, he went on to earn a master’s degree in history at University of Denver, and later pursue a renowned career in Higher Education at many institutions.
He taught and held administrative posts at Alabama State University, North Carolina A&T University, Tuskegee Institute and Talladega College from 1965 until retiring from education in 1992. In 2001, 37 years after leaving the university, Harold Franklin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Auburn University. He is currently a resident in Sylacauga, AL. He is now manager of a mortuary in Talladega, AL.
Initially, Franklin said Auburn denied him admission to the university and a dorm room on campus. Franklin added he and long-time civil rights attorney Fred Gray defeated Auburn twice in federal court. In 1969, the young Alabama State University graduate ran into barriers at Auburn when he submitted his thesis to get his master’s degree. The roadblocks ultimately kept Franklin from graduating from Auburn. He left and got his master’s degree from the University of Denver.
Auburn University invited Franklin to come back to university in February to finally defend his thesis. He was set to walk across the stage in May but that didn’t happen due to COVID-19. His degree came in the mail last week.
After a long wait, Dr. Harold mad history for himself, What do you think?