Vivian Malone Jones did her part during the tumultuous civil rights era by becoming one of the first of two African Americans to enroll in an all white University of Alabama.
Yesterday, the 63-year-old social pioneer died in an Atlanta hospital after suffering a stroke earlier this week.
Jones' attempt to enter the school on June 11, 1963 is vividly remembered in photos and film footage of a defiant Alabama Governor George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door to bar her and fellow black student James Hood.
The Mobile, Alabama native originally enrolled in the HBCU Alabama A & M University in Huntsville before heading to Tuscaloosa.
She holds the distinction of becoming the first African American to graduate from the school.