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WKU dedicates dormitory in honor of first Black student to enroll after desegregation

Clinton Lewis
WKU student pioneer Margaret Munday appeared with President Timothy Caboni at the dedication of Munday Hall.

A woman who ushered in an era of social and academic change at Western Kentucky University now has a building on campus named in her honor.

The former Northeast residence hall was dedicated today as Margaret Munday Hall.

The Auburn native was the first Black student to enroll and graduate from WKU following desegregation. She went on to teach music in Logan County schools for more than 30 years.

Surrounded by her family, friends, former students, and members of her church,
the 85-year-old Munday shared her gratefulness.

“It is a day of remembrance, a day I’ll never forget," Munday stated. "Had anyone told me in 1956 when I stepped into these uncharted waters that this would occur today, I would have said you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Munday Hall is the first building on WKU’s campus to be named after an African- American. The university unveiled a plaque, as well that will hang inside the dormitory.

"It's fitting that this residence hall named after an individual whose persistence forever changed our beloved institution for the better, is located near the geographic center of our campus," said WKU President Timothy Caboni. "Almost every student will pass by it at some point during their time on the hill. It's my hope that it serves as a daily reminder of transformative power of having the courage to be first, challenging norms and taking action that paves the way for those who come behind."

WKU alums George and C.J. Nichols also announced a $100,000 gift that will provide housing scholarships for Black students living in Munday Hall.

At 85 years old, Munday imparted both wisdom and humor as she urged the current generation of minority students to overcome challenges and persist to graduation. She recalled her trailblazing journey beginning in a one-room school in rural Logan County.

"I always had a fancy pencil with an eraser I bought myself. If I dropped it on the floor, there would be a do-gooder in front of me who would take it. I said, 'I'm looking for my pencil. There it is, you have it.' He said, 'I don't see your name on it.' So, I want to say this. I have a building here with my name on it, so WKU, take care of my building," she said with laughter.

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Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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