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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Leroy Frasier, John Lewis Brandon, and Ralph Frasier (left to right), all from Durham, North Carolina, on the steps of South Building after completing court-ordered registration in September 1955.

Friday assumed the presidency during the crisis over desegregation. In 1951, a federal court ruled that the university must admit blacks to its professional schools. Four years later, the court ordered Chapel Hill to register its first African American undergraduates. By 1968, the state's formerly all-white colleges still enrolled only a few black students.