Man gets honorary degree from UK after 7 decades

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 9, 2014 at 6:43 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Seven decades ago, Harrison Wilson returned home from World War II with plans to take advantage of the GI Bill and attend the University of Kentucky, which was his first-choice college.

A talented student and athlete who had served his country for four years at war, Wilson was nonetheless denied admission.

But that's changing soon.

UK was an all-white school until 1949. Before that African-American students wanting to go there were simply turned away. One of them was Wilson.

Wilson was a star high school basketball and baseball player. Then, he served for four years in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

But, even with a victory overseas there were still many battles left here at home for Wilson and many doors that would remain shut.

"I'm not only doing it for him, but for a lot of people in that era who were not able to live out that kind of dream," Wilson’s grandson, Brandon, said.

Brandon is graduating from UK with a masters in history.

He's attending at a time when the university boasts diversity and promise. To live up to this new image UK is awarding Harrison Wilson an honorary doctorate.

While his grandfather receives his honorary degree on Saturday, May 9. Brandon will also be receiving his masters, so the two will truly be able to share the moment.





   


 

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