University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia Libraries

Finding Aid for the Mary Frances Early Papers, 1961- .
UGA 07-015

RG 6

One Half-Document Box, Approximately .25 linear feet


Reading about the difficulties Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes were facing as the first African-Americans to integrate the University of Georgia in 1961, Mary Frances Early of Atlanta decided to join their efforts by transferring from the University of Michigan graduate program to that of Georgia.  A year later, in May, 1962, she became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Georgia.

In honor of her achievements, the Graduate and Professional Scholars student organization at the University sponsor the annual Mary Frances Early Lecture on the campus.  In 2010 the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences joined GAPS in sponsoring the event. 

Scope and Content:

These materials, donated by Ms. Early, include copies of letters related to her admission process, copies of news clippings related to her time at UGA, biographical materials and other items.  Of particular interest is a 1962 letter of congratulations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., praising her efforts. 

Users of this collection may find other materials in the University Archives integration collections ( ) of interest, particularly box 5 of the Walter Danner papers which contains an anonymous investigation done on Ms. Early in 1962, seemingly to find some reason to block her admission to the University. 

Content Inventory:

Box 1

  1. General Biographical Material
  2. Newspaper clippings, 1961-1962
  3. Correspondence related to admission to and graduation from UGA
  4. Letter to Ms. Early from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., September 10, 1962
  5. Grade transcripts
  6. Commencement Address, May 13, 2007, and related news clippings
  7. EDUCATION, 2003. First in their Class.
  8. "A Survey and Evaluation of Current Elementary Music Series" by Mary Frances Early, Music 921
  9. Mary Frances Early Lecture Programs