ASU President appears on CNN

MONTGOMERY, AL - ASU President William H. Harris was on CNN Friday morning to discuss the University's recent actions to honor students from the historic 1960 Sit-in Movement with degrees at ASU's Spring Commencement Exercises.

President William H. Harris discussed the University's recent historic action of conferring degrees for the nine students expelled for their participation in the historic 1960 Sit-in Movement in Montgomery.

Three of those nine students -- St. John Dixon, James McFadden and Joseph Peterson -- walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during ASU's 281st Commencement Exercises Saturday, May 8.

They all were part of a group of ASU students who marched to the then-segregated cafeteria in the Montgomery courthouse on Feb. 25, 1960, to stage a peaceful protest. Police forced the students to leave the building.

ASU's president at the time, Harper Councill Trenholm, expelled the nine students who were identified as sit-in leaders under pressure from then-Gov. John Patterson and the then-all-white State Board of Education.

ASU President William Harris reinstated the nine expelled students during a conference held at the University in February commemorating the 50th anniversary of the sit-in and announced that they would receive their degrees during Saturday's commencement.