Georgia Tech's 1st Black Graduate Hands Granddaughter Diploma From School

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Georgia Institute of Technology's first Black graduate handed his granddaughter her diploma during her graduation from the school decades after his historic achievement.

In a video posted on Instagram, Georgia Tech graduate Deanna Yancey hugged her grandfather, Ronald Yancey, the school's first Black graduate, before he gave her her degree during a commencement ceremony earlier this month.

The recent graduate earned a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering. Deanna's achievement comes after her grandfather graduated from Georgia Tech in June 1965.

According to university officials, Georgia Tech was the first college in the Deep South to integrate amicably and without a court order, welcoming Black students beginning in 1961.

However, Ronald Yancey previously said his road to getting accepted into the university wasn't easy. Yancey said he was told he “did not fit the Tech model for success" after he wasn't admitted into the school twice in the 1960s.

Yancey attended Morehouse before reapplying to Georgia Tech in 1961, hoping to take part in an engineering program. He was admitted to the university but faced difficulties on campus.

“Once on campus, (Ronald) Yancey was cautioned against using public transportation or attending any athletic events for his own safety. He endured isolation; no one would sit near him in the classroom. He never had a lab partner. He did all of his papers and exams in ink so he could not be accused of cheating or have his work tampered with," a press release reads.

A sculpture was built in 2019 in honor of Yancey's historic achievement as the first Black graduate in school history.

Earlier this month, Yancey and his granddaughter smiled for pictures after he handed her diploma.

"#WeCanDoThat," the university captioned a video of the full-circle moment.

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