Afro-American Student Society, Frostburg State College
In 1969 the Afro-American Student Society was formed at Frostburg State College. The purpose of the society was to improve the relationship between black and white students attending the college. Depicted in this 1969 photograph, from left to right are Stanley Parrott, Octavia Hill, Frank Seivers, Joyce Harris, Shirley Harrison, William R. Atkinson (advisor), Pansy Wilson, Linda Scott, Howard Austin, Juanita Jones, Mike Garner, Pate Streeter, Delores Darden, and Terina Stokes.
Note: William Reeder Atkinson, Frostburg State College Minority Admissions Counselor, 1969-1978)
William Reeder Atkinson was appointed to the position Minority Admissions Counselor at Frostburg State College/University in 1969, a position authorized that year for all State colleges by then Governor Marvin Mandel. Of a total 2,000 students at that time, 24 African American students were enrolled. With Atkinson's assistance, by 1976 African American student enrollment had exceeded the projections for 1980 and continued to increase. Atkinson worked with the concurrently authorized Coordinator of Integration/Office of Minority Affairs (his wife Pansye S. Atkinson, who was appointed as director) and other campus and community groups, contributing to student retention and success.
He has been remembered for his warmth, good humor and straightforward manner of interacting with all people, particularly for motivating students and helping those who were without resources. Atkinson was a native of Georgetown, South Carolina and earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in science from Morgan State College/University (Baltimore).
He was a teacher in Georgetown county and city schools and in Baltimore before employment at FSC. Atkinson was a member of the Rotary Club of Frostburg. Following his death in 1981, through a 1982 student initiative, a meeting room in the Lane College Center, where the Black Student Alliance (for which he had served as advisor) and other student groups met, was dedicated to Atkinson. In 1984, a faculty and staff group established the William Reeder Atkinson Memorial Fund, to provide an annual award to a deserving student.
Linda Scott would graduate from Frostburg in 1973. Some of her experiences are recalled in the "Segregation and Integration" chapter of this website under an entry entitled, "The Recent Past". Frostburg State College achieved university status and became known as Frostburg State University in 1987.
Frostburg State College
Photograph and text: "A Century of Commitment - Frostburg State University, 1898-1998"
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008