David M.. Granger


AUBURN -- The first African-American graduate of the University of Alabama will be the keynote speaker in Auburn University's celebration of Black History Month.

Vivian Malone Jones, one of two black students who were confronted by then-Gov. George C. Wallace in his famous "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door," will speak on Monday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. in Auburn's Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

Jones, who eventually graduated from Alabama with a bachelor's degree in management, is employed by the Atlanta Associates of MONY Life Insurance Co. of America. Most of her working career was spent in the federal government, where she held such positions as employee relations and personnel specialist with the Veterans Administration, director of civil rights and urban affairs and director of environmental justice with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and advisor to the President's Council on Youth Opportunity.

Her work in civil rights-related efforts has earned her numerous awards, among them the Emancipation Day Award from the NAACP and the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1996, she came face-to-face again with Wallace -- this time as recipient of the first Lurleen B. Wallace Award of Courage.

Jones remains active in civil rights, civic and community organizations, including the NAACP, the SCLC, Atlanta's Ben Hill United Methodist Church and the National Council of Negro Women. In August, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate of Humane Letters by her alma mater, where she has been named as one of the 31 most outstanding women graduates in the history of the institution.

In addition, UA has endowed a Vivian Malone Jones Scholarship Fund and honored Jones by hanging her portrait in the university's Bidgood Hall, home of the College of Commerce and Business Administration, from which received her bachelor's degree.

Malone's address is sponsored by AU's University Program Council.

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CONTACT: Andy Gwaltney, 334/844-5292.