University of South Carolina Unveils Monument Honoring First 3 Black Students to Integrate University


May 6, 2024

They are paying tribute!

The University of South Carolina (USC) commemorated a pivotal moment in its history last month with the unveiling of a new monument honoring the courage and legacy of three Black students.

Robert Anderson, Henrie Monteith Treadwell, and James Solomon Jr. were the first Black students admitted to USC since Reconstruction, and their enrollment in 1963 marked a significant step forward in desegregation, as shared in a university statement about the event.


The commemorative ceremony, held on April 19th at the McKissick Museum grounds on the university’s Horseshoe, featured remarks by Treadwell herself, USC President Michael Amiridis, and Board of Trustees Chairman Thad Westbrook.

The 12-foot bronze statue, commissioned by the Board of Trustees and sculpted by Jamaican-born artist Basil Watson, depicts the three students exiting the Osborne Administration Building after registering at the university. This image is based on a now-iconic photograph that captured this historic event.


The new monument will stand alongside the university’s existing desegregation garden, which was dedicated in 2013. Treadwell, a Columbia native, played a key role in making desegregation a reality at USC. She filed the lawsuit that paved the way for her enrollment and that of the other two students. Both Treadwell and James Solomon Jr. were present for the groundbreaking ceremony of the monument last September. Robert Anderson passed away in 2009.

The statue serves as a permanent reminder of the courage and resilience of these three students, who broke racial barriers in education at USC. Because of them, we can!

Cover photo: University of South Carolina Unveils Monument Honoring First 3 Black Students to Integrate University / Photo Credit: ALEX HICKS JR.

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