Success After Struggle

What happened to some of the major players in the SLBI protest after the walk-out.

While the academic year of 1969 had proven to be one that featured many challenges for the African American community at Clemson, it was not without its share of successes for the community as well. The graduating class of 1969 held numerous achievements for African American students on campus, who just years earlier never could have envisioned the success they were now undertaking. James E. Bostic Jr, a textile chemistry major, was a graduate with honors. During his time at Clemson, he had pursued a degree in textile chemistry, a notoriously difficult subject. Taken under the wing of Dr. Harvey Hobson, Bostic saw great success in his time at Clemson, excelling both in and out of the classroom, and becoming a member of Tiger Brotherhood. Upon graduation, Bostic was the recipient of one of just forty nationally sought after Ford Foundation Doctoral Scholarships for Black Students, which would cover the full expense of his pursuit of a Doctorate degree. After completion of this degree at Clemson in 1972, Bostic would go on to become a Young Presidential Fellow in the Nixon White House, and later became the national undersecretary of agriculture.

1969 also saw the graduation of the first three African American females from Clemson. Dorothy Ashford, Delores Ann Kimes, and Ann La Verne Williams all received their degrees from Clemson that May. Williams, the winner of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Student Humanitarian Service, would stay in the Clemson area and become a high school teacher. Ashford attended Seton Law, becoming a lead counsel for TIAA-CREF, and Kimes settled in Atlanta, taking on the role of marketing manager for IBM.