Wendell Wilkie Gunn

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is honoring its first black student by renaming part of campus in his honor.  

A statement from the school says the University Commons area will now be called the Wendell W. Gunn University Commons.

Gunn was the first black student to enter what was called Florence State College at the time. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and mathematics in 1965 and earned a master's of business administration from the University of Chicago in 1971.


The first black student at the University of North Alabama is returning to campus.

   Wendell Wilkie Gunn will speak at the university's fall convocation ceremony on Wednesday.

   Gunn is speaking exactly 50 years after he became the first black student to enroll at the school, which was then called the Florence Teachers College.

   Gunn transferred to North Alabama from Tennessee State University in 1963. He earned an academic award for physics in 1964 and graduated in '65.