WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Today MSU honored Dr. Charles Bosley, Nevada Easely, Leland and Wynell Jenkins and Dr. Edwin Fuller – the first black students to attend the school. They held a bench dedication to honor the students who made history at their campus in 1954.
Dr. Fuller, who went on to graduate from the University of Illinois, says the school was the foundation for the rest of his college career.
He said, "Midwestern was nice. [I] had a good experience. The teachers that we had in science and chemistry and physics, they were outstanding people, outstanding faculty members who were very helpful to me in my early years"
Leland Jenkins Sr. Was the local NAACP leader at the time, and encouraged Fuller and his sons, Leland Jr. and Wynell, to attend MSU in '54. His grandson, and the nephew of the Jenkins brothers, represented them at the ceremony today.
Wynell Jenkins said the historical moment that his family members were a part of is something he doesn't want to take for granted, "I'm very thankful to them and Dr. Fuller and Dr. Bosley for what they went through, because it opened the door for all of us to go through and experience the things that we have and to not have to experience a lot of challenges and obstacles that they did…"
The specially engraved plaque on the bench includes the five students' names and when they first enrolled in 1954. The bench will be located in the quad on MSU's campus.