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African American Alumni Heritage Wall
Celebrating the Legacy of African American Bobcats

African American Alumni Heritage Wall

The African American Alumni Heritage Wall is located in the East Lobby of the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Ohio University’s historic College Green. The auditorium was named after John Newton Templeton (Class of 1828) and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn (Class of 1916) who were the first African American man and woman to graduate from Ohio University. 

From Templeton and Blackburn to current alumni to today’s students, coming to Athens has changed lives, transformed dreams, and inspired so many to honor the opportunities won through the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before them. Graduates are proud of who they became at Ohio University, and their lives and achievements continue to make a difference to all. 

African American graduates will always be part of the Templeton and Blackburn legacy, but how can this legacy be linked with future generations? 

The Heritage Wall will ensure that Templeton and Blackburn's legacy is preserved by listing all African American alumni who want to be recognized, along with those individuals who were instrumental in helping them achieve their goal of attending and graduating from Ohio University. Graduates can make the same kind of difference to future generations of African American students at Ohio University. 

Take a moment to think about your “story.” Who helped make your dream of a college education come true? Was it a parent, a grandparent or an uncle, a neighbor, or a friend? Who are the people who made it possible to overcome? These are the people who helped write your story, and they deserve to be honored.


    John Newton Templeton

    John Newton Templeton was born into slavery in South Carolina. After his emancipation in 1813 by Thomas and Anne Newton Williamson of South Carolina, John was brought to Ohio and educated by the Williamsons’ son, Rev. William Williamson. In 1824, John Newton Templeton entered Ohio University through arrangements made by Rev. Williamson and Rev. Robert Wilson, president of Ohio University. Young John lived and worked in the home of President Wilson (the Silas Bingham House, now the University’s Visitors Center on Richland Avenue) until his graduation in 1828. When Templeton received his bachelor’s degree, he became the fourth African American college graduate in the nation, and the first in the Midwest.


    Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn

    Ohio University’s first female African American graduate, Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn received her bachelor’s degree in education summa cum laude in 1916. Martha’s family also holds important historical ties to Ohio University, since her father-in-law, John R. Blackburn of Cincinnati, served as the first African American member of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1885-1892. Ohio University awarded Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn the Medal of Merit, one of the Alumni Association’s highest honors, in 1979 for her contributions to education.

The Heritage Wall is a touchstone for every African American who passes through Ohio University.

To be recognized on Ohio University’s African American Alumni Heritage Wall, please make a minimum gift of $100 to have one name inscribed, as well as a minimum $100 gift for each additional name.


Heritage Wall Dedication 

In 1999, Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium was renamed to honor the legacy of John Templeton and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn. This was the first building named to honor African Americans on the Athens campus. The dedication of the African American Alumni Heritage Wall took place during Homecoming 1999 in the East Lobby of the Memorial Auditorium to extend upon the re-naming and legacy of Templeton and Blackburn. Then Ohio University President Robert Glidden and Trustee Patricia Ackerman unveiled the Heritage Wall and the names of all charter members. Additional names are placed on the Heritage Wall annually, and our ultimate goal is to eventually include all African American graduates of Ohio University in this ongoing commemoration. 

“Legacies of John Newton Templeton, John R. Blackburn, and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn at Ohio University are manifest in the successful matriculation and graduation of African American students for nearly two centuries. Embracing this heritage with pride, African American alumni named here celebrate the triumph of their individual accomplishments and honor those who shared in making them reality. May all who follow be inspired by their collective stories of challenge and achievement.” 
— Patricia A. Ackerman ’66 

Headshot of woman in white sweater with green scarf.

Dr. Patricia A. Ackerman, BA - Class of 1966

Dr. Patricia Ackerman has dedicated her life to education. Over the course of her 35-year career, she taught in the K-12 system and served as a principal and an administrator. A steadfast advocate for underserved students, Dr. Ackerman founded the Taylor Academy in Cleveland Hts. to meet the unique needs of this population and established Indeed.WeCode in 2015 to help young African American women learn more about computer coding. Today, she is the executive director of the Chalkdust Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides a coding summer camp for African American girls, professional development for K-12 educators, and programs for parents

Dr. Ackerman’s influence on the world of education extends to Ohio University, where her significant contributions of her time and expertise will have a far-reaching impact, forever. She was the first African American woman to serve on OHIO’s Board of Trustees and as its chair, and she was an influential member of the Presidential Search Committee that recommended the selection of Dr. Roderick McDavis as the university’s first African American president. Dr. Ackerman also completed terms on the Ohio Board of Regents and The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees. She co-founded the Ebony Bobcat Network, and her inspiration and dedication led to the creation of the African American Alumni Heritage Wall in the Memorial Auditorium and the Urban Scholars Program.

Heritage Wall

We encourage alumni to remember the legacy of the Heritage Wall through these eight words as they think about if they should honor themselves or another for the Wall. We encourage everyone to share their story with friends, family, and fellow Bobcats.


Your time in college was a historical moment in your personal story but also for the University. Your time spent in the classroom, being a part of an organization, and overall presence is all part of the larger historical narrative of Ohio University. 


Your Excellence at Ohio University isn’t just defined by your academic achievements. You exited those alumni Gates with the spirit of personal triumph for not only the academic achievement but every other personal hardship you went through. 


Your relationships at Ohio University could have an impact over your whole lifetime. Think about that time at Ohio University when you met that friend, professor, or professional connection that changed your Bobcat experience. Take an opportunity to reflect on what made that relationship so special. 


College inspires many of us to be the best we can be. From our time around friends to our time in the library, many different aspects inspire different people to be great. Could you have been that inspiration for someone or was someone that for? Think how moving forward your legacy could inspire others to walk in your footsteps at Ohio University. 


Many of us find ourselves remembering the moments of some of our greatest moments of perseverance when thinking about our time on a University Campus. From mini moments of academic and social progress to major achievements after graduation workforce, all should be celebrated.


Those that come before us aspire us to go on and do great things ourselves. Celebrate our heritage and those that have paved the way and continue to aspire by their legacy. Who has aspired you during your Ohio University journey?


University lifestyle can bring major changes to a person's life. From your time walking the new campus to your struggles in an upper-level class, what guided you through your journey as a Bobcat? Thinking back on your time at Ohio University, what class, person, or social organization provided you with the needed guidance to achieve all you have as a Bobcat?


The education received at Ohio University is unmatched. It provides the tools necessary to go on and achieve excellence and become global leaders. Who made the biggest impact on your education at Ohio University?

Members of the Wall Prior to 2023

A through C

  • Patricia A Ackerman, '66, honors Rev. Amos A. Ackerman, M. Ruth Ackerman, Ruth Y. Lewis, Chelise P. Lewis
  • Mrs.  Yvonne M Adams
  • John E Addison, '63 
  • Dawn Akua Ferdinand
  • Dr. Sashelle T Alexander, '96 
  • Jean C Allen, '96, ‘98 
  • Joseph T Allen, '69 
  • Jeana C Allen
  • Joseph T Allen, '69 
  • Jean H Allen-Jenkins, '68 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Delta Phi Chapter
  • Stacey J Anderson, BA '95, 1991-1995 
  • Justin M Anderson, '98 
  • Jay  Anthony, '83 
  • Stella L Antwine
  • Wilda R Arnold, '79 
  • Althea P Artis, '84 
  • Coach Bernita  Ashford, '80 
  • Stephanie G Ashford, '75 
  • Charles  D Atwater, '69 
  • Ms. Jenean D Atwood Baynes
  • Bryant D Austin, '96, ‘99 
  • Dexter A Bailey, Jr., '92, honors Dexter E. Bailey, Joan V. N. Bailey, Jannice M. Bailey, Kathy M. Bailey
  • Neal B Baker, '80, honors Robert Baker, Dorethia Baker
  • Huey L Ball, Jr., '67 
  • Edwina Banks, '58 
  • Lahugh Bankston, '69, ‘71, honors Leila B. Bankston, William Bankston, Sr.
  • Huley A Barnette, Jr., '74 
  • Romaine B Bayless, '67 
  • Sheila R Beale Jenkins, '70 
  • Patricia Beavers, '68 CHSP
  • Patricia A Beavers, '68 BSHEc, "Thank you, Mother"
  • Charles S Beckwith, Jr., '71, honors C. Sterling Beckwith, Sr., Thelma Lee Beckwith
  • Alicia T Bell, '85 
  • Johnny Benn, '65 
  • Benita Bennett
  • Mrs. Janet K Benson
  • Linda R Bethel, '77 
  • Rev. William J Blake, '75 
  • Leslie K Blakemore, '70, honors Edward J. Blakemore, Anne H. Blakemore
  • Adonis J Bolden, 2001, 2005
  • Dr. Shawn A Bonner, '89 
  • Aaron C Bonner, '90 
  • Kecia S Bonner-Reeves, '89 
  • William E Bowers, '85 
  • Sandra J Boyd, '66 
  • Renee Boykin, '87, honors The Ernst Boykin Sr. Family
  • Ms. Marsha L Bragg
  • Mr. Vincent L Briley
  • Stacey K Brinkley, '87, ‘92, honors Anthony "Tony" Singleton
  • Stacey K Brinkley, '87, ‘92, honors Daisey C. Brinkley, Donald Brinkley, Mildred Nixon, William Nixon
  • Laraunde N Brinkley, 2005 honors deceased parents: Michael L. Brinkley, Sherry L. Brinkley
  • Roberta Brown Rhodes, '67 
  • Althea Brown, '75 
  • John R Browne, '65, honors Helen C. Browne, William A. Browne
  • Vicki L Brown-Turner
  • Stephanie H Bryant, '75 
  • Mrs. Claudette A Butcher
  • Mr. Alijah L Butcher, Jr.
  • Leon D Butler, '82 
  • Cynthia C Calhoun, '88, Bertha Rasberry Calhoun
  • Vanessa B Calloway, '79 
  • Monica Y Cannon, '90 
  • Deborah S Carroll, '68 
  • Charles  P. Chambers, '66 
  • Miles D Chapman, '87 
  • Burell T Charity, '77 
  • Dr. Francine C Childs, '97 
  • Jerald  Christian, '60 
  • Naima R. Clarke
  • Lt. Col. Charles H Clarke, Jr., '33, honors Alpha Phi Alpha, Cassandra Hill, Dean Edwin C. Chubb, President Elmer Burritt Bryan
  • Gregory F Clifford, '71 
  • Alan S Coleman, '72 
  • Virgil E Collins, '70 
  • Lillard Combs Jr.
  • David R Conway, '76 
  • David W Cousins, '90 
  • David W Cousins, '90 
  • James M Crawford, '68 
  • Garron L Croston, '94

D through J

  • Dr. Sylvester E Davis
  • Joseph E Davis, '89, honors Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sykes, Harold & Leah Davis
  • Lee Davis Willis
  • Chrystal D Denmark, '96 
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Epsilon Iota Chapter, Chartered October 5, 1963
  • Robert E Diez, '68 
  • Linda J Dobbs, '70 
  • Lori E Donaldson, '95 
  • Honorable Theresa Doss, '61 
  • Dr. Gifford B Doxsee
  • Mrs. Mary C Doxsee
  • Heather M Dulaney, '96 
  • Keith P Early, '77 
  • Lt. Col., Jr. Albert G Elam, '77, honors 
  • Mr., II John W. Euill
  • Ronda L Evans, '79 
  • Sybil Olivia Felton & Mary Edwards
  • Jacqueline Ann G Fields, '75 
  • Ed Fitzpatrick, '64 
  • Reynell J Frazier, BSED '74 
  • Terrence L Frazier, '99 
  • Gregory S George
  • Amiso M George, '83 
  • Mildred L Gilham Burns, '62 
  • Faith F Gillon, '88 
  • Pamela C Gipson, '74 
  • Mrs. Ayanna A Glanton
  • Pamela Glason Thornton, '87, honors Anna Ely Glason, Earnie Glason, Sr., Herman Raymond Thornton, Jr.
  • Mr. Joseph B Gothard, II
  • Mr. Kevin W Grahn
  • Mrs. Carmella L Grahn
  • Sue C Greene-Buckner, '76 
  • Mr. Eddie Gunn, III
  • Melinda A. Gyi, '91, honors Patricia Gyi, Maung Gyi
  • Ricardo D Hall, '91, ‘92 
  • Andrea R Hall, '92, 94 
  • Honoring Hairston, Allen, Robinson Family, Dr. John & Mrs. Rebecca Hairston
  • Patricia Hamilton Gyi, '89 
  • Kitwana Mwamini Eshe Hankins, '97 
  • Adrian Harpool
  • Leon M Harris, Jr., '83 
  • Dawn T Harris, '83 
  • Karyn Harris, '85, honors Nicole Harris, Janielle Harris
  • Jamaria A Harris-Frederick, '92 
  • Natalie M Hatcher James, '99 
  • Donald B Henley, Jr., '79, honors Donald B. Henley Sr., Joan T. Henley, Rosie Henley, William L. Martin
  • Gregory Hill, D.O., '86 
  • Dr. Gregory and Judi C. Hill
  • Althea K Hill, '89 
  • T Glenn Hill, '70 
  • Mr. James H Hill, Jr.
  • Barbara E Hines-Smith, Ph.D., '92 
  • Leon R Hogg, Sr., '68 
  • Lawrence W Holbert, '75 
  • Sherrill E Holbert, '78 
  • Margaret P Hooker, '85, honors Odessa W. Hooker
  • Schylbea J Hopkins, '66 
  • Roberta L Hopkins, Jr., '93 
  • Ralph J Hopper, Jr., '63 
  • Cornelius L Hopper, M.D., '56 
  • Miss Faye A Houston
  • Paul L Hubbard, '65 
  • Sharon Hubbard-McKinsey, '69 
  • Christopher D Hunt, '84 
  • Ms. Serena J Hunter
  • Samuel B Hunter, Jr., '98 
  • Cleo Patricia I Jackson, '65 
  • Jerry L Jackson, '85 
  • Mr. Jerry Jackson, Mrs. Lenora Jackson, Dr. Anita Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur and Doris Grant
  • Terri L James, '80 
  • The JB's, '75-'80, The Jefferson Brothers
  • Rashid Jelani, '79 
  • Richard E Jenkins, '70 
  • Mrs. Patricia Johnson Wainwright
  • Joyce C Johnson-Anderson, '89 
  • Renette Johnson-Jobst, '89 
  • Brian A Johnson-Jobst, '77, honors Portia L. Johnson
  • Melinda Jones
  • Erika C Jones, '98 
  • Shelly L Jones, M.D., '84 
  • Cecil Jones, Executive Masters, Business Administration
  • Monica S Jones, '91 
  • Anthony J Jones, '90 
  • Delbert W Jones, '68 
  • Monica S Jones, '91 
  • Alice Jones Rush, '57

K through R

  • Michael  Keels, '94, honors Rosetta Keels, Paul Keels
  • Edwin Kelly, '70 
  • Alice F Kennedy, '70 BSE
  • Evelyn L Kirby, '65 
  • Robert L Knox, '79, honors Mr. & Mrs. Valma T. Knox
  • Kellie LaRae Armstead, '98 
  • Grant F Latimore D.M.D, '59 
  • Meritt M Latimore, '99 
  • Grant F Latimore M.D., '59 
  • Kevin Lawrence Donaldson, 2000 
  • Theodore F Laws, Jr., '71 
  • Constance Lawson-Davis, '67, honors Dr. J. Ranaldo Lawson '65, James R. Lawson, Cora P. Lawson
  • Dameka (Nickerson) Lee '00
  • Sherman D Lee, '98
  • Michael E Leonard, '73, ‘75 
  • Ms. Denise  Lester
  • Howard L Lewis, '77 
  • Audrey Lewis
  • Valerie A Linson, '86
  • Mrs. Deborah C Long
  • David F Lowe, M.D., '93, honors C. Nina Lowe, John D. Lowe
  • Terry E Mann, '80, honors Marie Holt Robinson, Arthur L Manns
  • Doreen Martin Banks, '74, honors Presley Martin, Dorothy M Martin
  • Eustace P Matthews, '87, 90 
  • Adrienne Y McCray, D.O., '92 
  • Alfonso McCullough, '84 
  • Ruth McDade-Walker, '78 
  • Dr. Roderick J McDavis, '70, Deborah McDavis
  • Yvette McGee Brown, '82 
  • Brian C McIntyre, '91, honors Genevieve H. McIntyre
  • Mrs. LaWanna S McKinley White
  • Shirley McWorter Moss, '57 
  • Armana Milbry
  • Alisha Milbry
  • Mr. Paul Miller
  • Marilyn Miller, Jake Miller & Bessie Miller
  • Grace Miller Bergeron, '82, honors Juanita S. Miller
  • Grace Miller Bergeron, '82 
  • Alvin G Mims, '75 
  • Ms. Tanya M Mitchell, '91 B.B.A, honors Jerry J. and Myrtle L. Mitchell
  • Ms. Andrea M Montgomery
  • Genetta H Moore, '81 
  • Cynthia R Moore, '86 
  • Jennifer A Moore, 2007 BSJ
  • Victor R Moore, 2015 BSA
  • Dr. Donna Moore Ramsey
  • Lynn F Morgan, '69 BSE
  • Warren S Morris, '76 
  • Lisa E Morris, '76 
  • Pastor Walter S Moss, '77 
  • Michelle Munn Bivins, '80, honors Janice Munn
  • Maurice Murrell, '89 
  • Russel C Neal, Jr., '84 
  • Paula T Newman, '94, honors The Boyd/ Moore Families
  • Everett L Overstreet, '67, honors Jo Ann Gregory Overstreet, Lorie Danielle Overstreet, Piper Sabrina Overstreet
  • Bea G Parker, '73 
  • Darlene Patterson Spencer, '69 
  • Paul N Patton, '80 
  • Charles L Patton, Jr., '72, honors Lillian Ward-Ramos
  • Darryl A Peal, '91 
  • Connie Perdreau, '72 
  • Erek Perry, '95, honors Ay Perry
  • Norma L Pierson, '97 
  • Sharon D Pittman Groves
  • Tinalouise  Polite, '84 
  • Michael D Price, '80 
  • Amelia B Prillerman Phillips, '78, honors Roland L. Phillips
  • Marlon Primes, ‘86 & Kathi Howard-Primes, '86
  • Karen T Pruitt, '77, honors John Taylor, Arletha H. Taylor, Michael V. Taylor
  • Roland D Pruitt, '80
  • Dr. Regina Randall Peal, '88, ‘90, ‘98 
  • Dr. Regina Randall Peal, '88, ‘90, ‘98, honors Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Delta Phi Chapter- Chartered 1965
  • Lieutenant Randle, II, '76 
  • Deborah L Rather, '73 
  • Mr. Johnny M Reid, Jr.
  • Danette A Render, '77, honors Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Render
  • Brian V Rhodes, '75 BSEE
  • Dana P Richard, D.O., '84, 1st African American Graduate, College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lorraine Richardson, '68 
  • Mrs. Sharon S Richardson
  • Dr. Georgenna  Riley
  • Dr. Shirley T Robinson
  • Dr. Darlene L Robinson Haymon Currie, '72 
  • Dr. Vattel T Rose 
  • Veanise R Ruffin Moore, '79 BSJ

S through Z

  • Yolanda Salter, '89, Yvonne Salter honors father, Mr. Elliot Salter
  • Mr. Michael E Samuels
  • Mr. Lee A Saunders
  • William C Shaffer, '82 
  • William I Shelton, Jr., '82 
  • Taraja K Shephard, 2006 
  • Brenda A Shepherd, '76 
  • Richard K Shields, '96 
  • Marilyn L Shropshire-Seward, '74, honors Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shropshire, Jr.
  • Sigma Gamma Rhomeo Club
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Eta Psi Chapter
  • Mrs. Erica L Silas
  • Misty D Singer, '94, honors Enos L. Singer
  • Anthony J Singleton, '86 
  • Joyce (Cookie) Sizemore James, '74, honors William and Dorothy Sizemore
  • Marc V Smith, '80, honors Mrs. Berta L. Smith, Mr. Richard "Red Boy" Smith
  • Colonel, USA Ret. John W Smith, '56 
  • Gilbert Smith, '85, honors Era Smith
  • Wayman R Smith, '77 
  • Gerald K Smith, '66, Ed.D. 
  • Ronald E Smith, M.D., '67 
  • Carl R. Smith III '92
  • Lillian Spears-Hall, '61 
  • Donna R Stafford, '67 
  • Daniella M Stevens, '73 
  • Jennifer L Stevens, '97 
  • Anne Stover Brabson, '61
  • Michael A Strickland, '80
  • Wilfred Stubbs, Jr., '71
  • Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., '83 B.S. Interpersonal Communication
  • Michael B Swain, '87, honors The Sigma Gamma Rhomeo Club, "To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required"
  • Andre R Tang, '84 
  • Thomas N Tang, Jr., '80 
  • Dr. Gwendolyn C Taylor, '89, ‘97, honors Dollie Taylor, Standard Bearer; Daniel Taylor, Provider; Agnes Galbreath, Way Maker; Constance R. Taylor, Visionary
  • Gail D Taylor, '89 
  • Michael E Taylor
  • Dr. Temujin TJ Taylor, '91
  • Thomas J. Teague Jr. '91 & '93
  • Shannon D. Teague '92 & '94
  • David A Terry, '90 
  • Shelley E Tims, '91, honors Madeline J. Tims-Harris, Joe D. Tims
  • Lola Tubi, '97 
  • Hélène V. Tyler, '75, Mariama Y. Tyler ‘96
  • Dr. Martin T Tyler, '64 
  • Col. Frank E Underwood, '54 
  • Cecile Vaughters-Johnson, '75, honors Alans H. Vaughters, '50, Vivian Stevens Vaughters, '50
  • Ann Wagner Hill, '68 
  • Gail C Walker, '77 
  • Gwendolyn M Walker, '74 
  • Lon G Walls, '72, honors Luna M. Walls
  • Brian D Walton, '82 
  • Frederick S Walton, '73, ‘78 
  • Derek C Warner
  • Susan Watson Turner, '79 
  • Barbara L Watson Turner, '74 
  • Phyllis D Weaver Cummings, '71 
  • Johnny S Webb, '80, honors Anthony Webb
  • Anthony Webb, '76 & Johnny Webb, ’80 honors James Rushin
  • West Palm Beach Family Doctors
  • Dr. Jason B. White, '01, '02 & '11
  • Linda P White, '80 
  • Melinda White, '91 & Clarence White
  • Charles Whitman Jones, '42, honors Jesse Milton Jones
  • Melvin F Williams, '80 
  • Sheila Y Williams, '78, honors Daniel Williams
  • Miss Thelma D Williams
  • Andre M Williams, '98 
  • Kenneth G Williams, '78 
  • Melissa R Wilson, '96 
  • Mrs. Jacqueline Wyant Harris
  • William Young, Jr., '90, honors William Young, Sr., Silda Young

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