W&M celebrates NAACP's 100th anniversary

  • Centennial celebrationNubia Dickerson ('09) sings "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" during the NAACP centennial celebration, held in the Wren Building Jan. 12. The event marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Centennial celebration
  • Centennial celebrationStudents hold hands during the NAACP centennial celebration event in the Wren Building.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Centennial celebration
  • Centennial celebrationStudent Assembly President Valerie Hopkins ('09) rings the Wren Bell during the event. William & Mary President Taylor Reveley and the presidents of the College's multicultural student organizations took turns ringing the bell the mark the anniversary.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Centennial celebration
  • Centennial celebrationApproximately 50 people from the William and Mary community participated in the event, including the presidents of the College's multicultural student organizations, pictured here with William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. The event was part of a nationwide, year-long celebration in honor of the NAACP.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Centennial celebration
Students, faculty and staff members from various cultural backgrounds joined hands in the second floor of the Wren building Thursday night and celebrated a century of progress made by nation's oldest civil rights organization.

The group gathered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Organized by the William & Mary student chapter of the NAACP, the event was part of the nation-wide, year-long celebration of the organization, which advocates for civil rights and monitors equal opportunity.

"It's hard to imagine the change that's occurred in the United States over the last 100 years -- even over the last 50 or 25 years or since Inauguration Day in January," said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. "I think the NAACP has been one of the driving forces of that change. The good it's done is staggering."

Along with Reveley, about 50 members of the William & Mary community participated in the event, including William & Mary NAACP President Justin Reid ('09), Associate Provost for Enrollment Earl Granger, Interim Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Valerie Brown, Student Assembly President Valerie Hopkins ('09) and the presidents of various campus multicultural organizations.

To mark 100th anniversary, Reveley and the student presidents took turns ringing the Wren Bell. It was the first time that Reveley, who became president of the College in September, has ever rung the bell.

After the bell-ringing, the attendees joined hands and listened as Nubia Dickerson ('09) sang "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing."

"The NAACP is the reason I and countless others are able to attend the College today," said Reid in a press release. "On this special occasion we celebrate 100 years of progress both at William and Mary and across the nation."

The William & Mary NAACP, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, hoped that the event not only marked the centennial, but inspired students to "to recommit themselves to striking down the barriers that still exist," according to the release.

Sophomore Kathleen Brower came to the commemoration to both celebrate the anniversary and meet members of the organizations represented there so she can get more involved on campus.

"Obviously, I believe in equality and I believe in everything the NAACP believes in, and that's why I'm here today, to be in solidarity with everyone here," she said.

The William & Mary NAACP will again celebrate the centennial with a dance in the late spring after the College's annual Image Awards.