The University of Florida unveiled on Wednesday [September 15] a historical marker honoring the integration pioneers who led the charge to desegregate the institution.

The marker honors the efforts of Virgil Hawkins, one of six African-Americans who sued the university after being denied admission in 1949 solely based on their race. Other pioneers recognized on the marker include George Starke, the first Black student admitted at UF; W. George Allen, the first African-American to graduate with a law degree from UF; and Stephan Mickle, the first to receive a bachelor’s degree in 1965.

“With the new marker, we officially acknowledge and honor those students, Mr. Hawkins, and all the firsts who bravely became the first Black students in their classes, in their residence halls and in their academic programs,”  UF President Kent Fuchs said during the unveiling.