First Among Equals
First Black Alumni Group Scholarship Honors Pioneers
Statesboro teacher John Bradley – an African American – was joining the line of students cued up to register in Hanner Gym when President Zach Henderson greeted Bradley and led him through the process of becoming the first black student and the first black graduate student at Georgia Southern. Bradley went on to complete his T-5 teaching certificate.
That fall, six black students – five beginning freshmen and one sophomore transfer – Clavelia Love Brinson, Arlene Marie Daughtry, Shirley Anne Woodall and Catherine Davis, enrolled with little fanfare.
In 1969, two of those freshmen, Ulysee Mosley of Albany, Ga., and Jessie Zeigler Carter of Statesboro, became the first black man and woman, respectively, to complete their entire college careers at Georgia Southern.
The newly endowed Black Alumni of Georgia Southern (BAGS) Scholarship was awarded last fall in honor of Carter and Mosley.
Carter now lives in Soperton, Ga., and is a retired Treutlen County teacher.
“I’m grateful, honored and elated to be a part of the presentation of the first scholarship of the
Black Alumni of Georgia Southern,” said Carter. “When I enrolled as an undergraduate in 1965, my goal was to get a college degree. I didn’t know I was making history. However, I have come to appreciate the historical significance of my accomplishment in being the first African- American female to complete a full four years at Georgia Southern.
“My hope is that my accomplishment, however modest or grand, can encourage, inspire and motivate others to pursue their dreams.”
Mosley is a retired principal who resides in Indianapolis.
“Having the BAGS scholarship given in my honor this year reminds me of a song we sang in my church,” said Mosley. “The name of the song is ‘Give Me My Flowers’ and the words are: ‘Give, give me my flowers, while I can see them, so that I can see the beauty they bring. Give, give me my flowers, while I can feel them, so that I can feel the comfort they bring.’ The recognition and the beautiful certificate I received remind me of a bouquet of flowers.
“I saw the beautiful expressions of love and appreciation on the faces of the ‘youngsters’
attending the ceremony,” he said. “The honor, the flowers, makes me feel like my living has not been in vain, and today, I walk with an attitude of gratitude.”
The scholarship’s first recipient is sophomore chemistry major Precious K. Lango of Milledgeville, Ga. “I am grateful and blessed to have received the first BAGS scholarship,” said Lango. “It will help me greatly when it comes to purchasing text books and other materials I will need in completing my sophomore year. After I graduate, I plan on becoming a pediatrician, or a pediatric physical therapist.”
Lango is heavily involved in campus volunteer activities. She is a member of the Student African American Sisterhood and serves as a Southern Ambassador. She volunteers at the Statesboro Boys and Girls Club, works with local efforts to prevent domestic violence, and is also the reigning Miss Black and Gold for Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
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