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UGA Graduates Attend Dedication of Building Named in Their Honor

A trio of students who helped to integrate the University of Georgia was honored Thursday as the university dedicated its newest residence hall. Black-Diallo-Miller Hall is named in honor of Harold Black, Mary Diallo, and Kerry Miller. The dedication marks the 60th anniversary of the year they enrolled as freshmen.

This is not the first honor for Dr. Black.

“First with the College of Business endowing a chair in my name, and with this as a retired professor, there’s no higher honor,” Black said. “I’m really, really honored by it.

Athens native Dr. Diallo expressed similar sentiments.

“I’m overwhelmed; I’m honored that the University of Georgia has given me this honor,” stated Diallo. “I just…I was in disbelief but I’m very thankful and grateful.”

Mrs. Miller described her reaction when she first saw her name on the building.

“The first thing I did was I started crying, because I’m a crier,” Miller said. “I can’t help it, when I’m very happy I cry. It just did something to my heart, I looked up and saw my name.”

Their portraits are on display in the building’s lobby. Construction of the six-story, $50 million project began in December 2020. The building features an exterior courtyard and is the first new residence hall since 2013.

Miller was the first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UGA. She retired from BellSouth after 29 years, primarily based in Charlotte.

Diallo earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French literature from UGA and a doctorate from Emory University. She taught at Morehouse College and at Florida A&M University (FAMU), from which she retired last year.

Black retired as professor emeritus of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville after 24 years of service as the James F. Smith Jr. Professor of Finance. A native of Atlanta, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Ohio State University.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!