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Two Alabama Power employees on University of Alabama Black Alumni Association “60 for 60” list

The University of Alabama’s Black Alumni Association will commemorate the 60th anniversary of integration at the university by hosting a celebratory reunion June 9-10. The reunion theme is “Beyond the Schoolhouse Door.”

On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood walked into UA’s Foster Auditorium to enroll as students after Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace unsuccessfully attempted to block their admission by standing in their way at the building’s front doors.

As part of the weekend-long festivities in honor of Malone and Hood’s legacy, 60 alumni will be recognized by the association for excellence through trailblazing in their fields of study and in their communities.

Staci Brown Brooks, Alabama Power vice president of Charitable Giving and president of the Alabama Power Foundation, and Gaston Large, an engineering supervisor with the company’s Power Delivery team, are among the “60 for 60” award recipients.

Staci Brown Brooks and Gaston Large. (contributed)

“The history makers who integrated the University of Alabama have always loomed large in my mind and in my heart,” Brooks said. “I continue to honor their sacrifices and I’m grateful to be named among so many fellow alumni I admire.”

“It is an unbelievable honor,” Large said. “‘The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door’ took place in 1963. Now, here we are 60 years later, commemorating the legacy of Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood.

“I and so many others have gone beyond those doors, which they opened,” he said. “I am grateful for the University of Alabama Black Alumni Association for continuing the efforts of remembering the progress that has been made in inclusivity at the university,” he said.

Gov. George Wallace conducts his unsuccessful ‘Stand in the schoolhouse door’ at the University of Alabama, June 11, 1963. (Alabama Department of Archives and History. Donated by Alabama Media Group. Photo by Robert Adams, Birmingham News.)

“We can’t forget the sacrifices and grit it took to open these doors for myself and so many others,” said Derek Cunningham, MBA, president of the UA Black Alumni Association. “I know that the excellence provided by Staci, Gaston and so many others is appreciated by our trailblazers, and we could not ask for better leaders and examples to continue to light the way for many more to come.”

The Alabama Power Foundation is among the presenting sponsors for the Black alumni weekend. To learn more about the UA Black Alumni Association, click here.