Some of today's brightest scholars received their degrees from Alabama State University this weekend. Two ladies from Columbus also made the trip to ASU as part of their 50 year reunion.
Commencement at Alabama State University is as much about remembering the past as it about celebrating the future. It's the reason why alumni are invited on stage at their 50-year reunion.
"Sometimes those people are in wheelchairs, some are on crutches, coming any kind of way, but they are just happy to be there. And I will be one of those who will be happy to be there", said Gloria Battle an ASU Alumna.
Gloria Battle and Mildred Wynne are both members of ASU's class of 1957.
They spoke with us about what life was like as black college students during a time when people were judged by the color of their skin. And they talked about participating in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat.
Battle adds, "That Thursday evening, all these flyers circulated from our campus throughout the city and nobody rode the bus on Friday, and for 381 days, the bus boycott lasted." They remember doing a lot of walking.
ASU Alumna, Mildred Wynne adds, "Being young and energetic, that really wasn't a problem with us... it was like fun at first to the young people to walk downtown and see the buses pass and nobody was on the bus but the driver." Fifty years ago, these students hoped they were making a difference.
Today, they agree that while they've come a long way, there's still much work to be done to improve racial equality.