About Us.In the fall of 1970, between 25 and 30 Black students came together to form a new student organization at Augusta College. While seemingly a small number, those students represented about twenty percent of the college's Black student population at that time.
The recent King and Kennedy assassinations, the press for civil rights (and the attendant resistance to the press), and the Black pride movement made for turbulent times around the nation. Black students at Augusta College faced overt racism in the classroom, with even professors engaging in the use of racial slurs of the worst kind. Similarly, the administration reacted with insensitivity to the students' plight. Experiencing a high level of frustration with their situation, the students needed to an avenue to vent their frustrations. They believed that, collectively, they would have a more effective voice and that the administration would be more likely to address the grievances of an organization than those of single individuals. They invited Dr. Roscoe Williams, the Associate Dean of Students, to meet with them and asked him to be their faculty adviser.
High-level administrators, still insensitive to the problems, questioned the need for the organization and wondered aloud why the students could not join one of the existing organizations. They made one thing perfectly clear--if the organization wanted to be chartered on Augusta College's campus, it would have to find a name that did not include "Black" as did its first choice of names, the Black Student Union. Tactically, to get around that opposition, the organization became chartered by calling itself the Progressive Student Alliance. Its first official act was to change the name to the Black Student Union.
In its first election, two young men vied for the top spot as president of the organization.
Those two were Joseph Greene (now Professor Greene, Cree Walker Professor of Business Administration at Augusta State University) and Charles Walker, (who later became Senator Charles Walker, Georgia Senate Majority Leader). Professor Greene won that election and became the Black Student Union's first president. Pat Jefferson (of the highly successful Jefferson Realty) became secretary and Ernest Evans (a CPA and career military man) was elected treasurer. Other early members were Gene Hunt (a Vice President with Bank of America) and Henry Ingram (President and CEO of International Formal Wear). From that time on, members of the Black Student Union have gone on to become prominent and productive members of the Augusta community and beyond.