Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sesquicentennial Stories: The Promise of UK #149

The University of Kentucky did not fully integrate until 1954 when African-American undergraduates were finally able to register for classes. Countless stories remain unknown of the work and support provided by African Americans to the University.  One such story is that of Pierre Whiting who worked at the University for 57 years. His own memory of the area dated back to Civil War troops that bivouacked on what is now UK’s campus. As a young man, he carried water and mortar to men who were working on the first campus building, the Main Building. He served first as a janitor at White Hall, which was then a men’s dormitory but he went on to become the janitor at the Main Building for the remainder of his service. African-American men and women contributed to the success of this University long before they were allowed to take classes. Pierre Whiting was with this University since its very beginning and yet little is known about his life or history.  Do any of you know more about Mr. Whiting?  If so, please email

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