Making History

Mary Frances Early (M.M.Ed. '62, Ed.S. '67) played an integral role in the campaign for racial equality that helped open the doors for generations of students at the University of Georgia. Her triumph as the first African American graduate of UGA made her a central figure in the struggle to desegregate the University and serves as an example to all.

Honor Mary Frances Early

Early's endeavors have brought honor and distinction to the College, and the University would like to create a permanent legacy by naming it the Mary Frances Early College of Education. Gifts to the endowment established in conjunction with the naming will support the College as it addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and fund scholarships for students.

Commit to Education

With approximately 4,000 students enrolled each year, the University of Georgia College of Education prepares students to create change and improve lives in areas such as teacher preparation, counseling, communication sciences and disorders, exercise science, and more.

A Trailblazing Timeline

Naming the College of Education for Mary Frances Early honors her long career as an educator and advocate. Born in Atlanta in 1936, she graduated as the valedictorian of Turner High School in Atlanta in 1953. Here are some select accomplishments from throughout her life.


As a master's student at the University of Michigan, Early is inspired by the violence surrounding Charlayne Hunter's and Hamilton Holmes' integration of the University of Georgia. She begins the process to transfer to UGA.


Early graduates from the University of Georgia with a master's in music education and becomes the first African American graduate of UGA.


Early graduates from UGA with her educational specialist degree.


During Spring Commencement, Early receives an honorary doctorate of law degree from UGA President Michael Adams.


Early receives the UGA President's Medal from President Jere Morehead and her portrait is unveiled in the Administration Building.


Documentary about Early's life, "The Quiet Trailblazer," premieres on Georgia Public Broadcasting; the film was produced by Maurice Daniels and includes interviews with U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Lonnie King, Michael Thurmond and others.

Impact and Legacy

"We have to activate ourselves and take on the responsibility to help make this world the kind of place it can be." Mary Frances Early

Thank You, Donors!

Groundbreaker Society

$250,000 – $1 million+


$25,000 – $249,999


$10,000 – $24,999


$1,500 – $9,999


$1 – $1,499

Questions About Giving?

Email the College of Education's Office of Development & Alumni Relations team or call 706-542-2893.