Longwood University honors all Civil Rights Movement heroes whose lives were impacted by the struggle for educational access and the courageous participants in the legal system that affirmed their rights to equal education. 

In a special ceremony over Commencement Weekend 2024, Longwood conferred honorary Juris Doctor degrees–in recognition of the legal struggle for educational access– to R.R. Moton High School strikers and plaintiffs, students whose educational careers were interrupted when Prince Edward County shuttered schools from 1959-64, and students who were dissuaded from applying or denied admittance to Longwood on the basis of race.

The ceremony was part of a commencement weekend that marked the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared segregated schools unconstitutional and the 60th anniversary of the Griffin v. School Board of Prince Edward County decision that forced public schools to open their doors after they had been shuttered rather than integrate.

Held Sunday, May 19, 2024 in Blackwell Ballroom, the ceremony included welcome addresses from Dr. Theresa Clark, assistant professor emeritus; Cornell Walker, president of the R.R. Moton/Prince Edward Alumni Association; A.D. “Chuckie” Reid, chair of the Moton Council and member of the Prince Edward NAACP; and a keynote address from L. Francis “Skip” Griffin Jr.

You can watch the ceremony below:

Honorary Diplomas

Anyone whose life was impacted by the struggle for educational access as an original Moton striker or plaintiff, victim of school lockout, or denied from Longwood College is eligible to receive an honorary diploma. Longwood will print diplomas twice yearly to those who register below. Family members of those no longer with us are welcome to receive a posthumous diploma in their relative’s name.