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Clare Harp December 5, 2013 Following the Leader: Ralph Brown Draughon and the Road to Auburns Desegregation

Segregation was a constant throughout most of the 20th century in the American South. There was no getting away from racism, for it presented itself in schools, neighborhoods, work places, and bus stations, to name just a few. However, thanks to the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the idea of separate but equal was deemed unconstitutional, opening the doors for once accepted Southern norms to begin their transformation.1 In many cases, educators felt they had no choice but to follow suit. Even Auburn University, located in a small city that would have been relatively unknown without the college, was starting to feel the effects of Brown. It was inevitable: they were going to have to desegregate. Auburn was definitely not alone; other universities had faced the same predicament a little sooner, particularly the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss. At the University of Alabama, George Wallace made his defiant, but futile, stand in front of Foster Auditorium in the summer of 1963.2 As for Ole Miss, President John F. Kennedy had to order federal troops down to Oxford, Mississippi to ensure the universitys

1. The National Museum of American History, Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education Timeline, The Smithsonian Institution, http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/resources/timeline.html (accessed November 6, 2013). 2. E. Culpepper Clark, The Schoolhouse Door: Segregations Last Stand at the University of Alabama (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), xvii.

2 integration.3 Auburn, on the other hand, had no dramatic incident that compares with these events. Surprisingly, Auburns integration ran much more smoothly, hence it did not garner nearly as much attention as the previous two. But why was that the case? Auburn was a southern institution like the University of Alabama and Ole Miss. Why did Auburns integration run so steadily with hardly any problems? I believe that the answer lies with Ralph Brown Draughon, Auburns President from 1947 to 1965.4 This thesis will show how Draughons eighteen years of experience with civil rights matters helped prepare him for that historic day in January of 1964, when Harold Franklin became the first African American to enroll at Auburn University.5 Though Draughons experiences have been discussed in the past, they have not been explained nor revealed in a manner to adequately show just how much work went into the process of desegregating Auburn. Draughon was constantly in touch with other institutions during his presidency, taking in any advice they were willing to offer. In fact, there were several occasions in Draughons working life that particularly shaped him to take on such a daunting task. His ideology, leadership style, work ethic, and behind the scenes involvement all contributed tremendously to make sure that Auburn was not going to be another University of Alabama or another Ole Miss. By delving into Draughons records, the man behind Auburns integration will be revealed to the fullest extent. The records will prove that hard work and precision are what it took to ease Auburn into a changing society.

3. Frank Lambert, The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights v. States Rights (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 115. 4. Malcolm McMillan and Allen Jones, Auburn University Through the Years (Auburn: Auburn University 1973), 25, 30. 5. Ibid., 29.

3 The man destined to lead Auburn through its integration was a Southerner from the very beginning. Ralph Draughon was born in the little town of Hartford, Alabama in Geneva County on September 1, 1899, to John William and Vashti Draughon. He enrolled at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in 1918 where he started out as a mechanical engineering major. At the beginning of his sophomore year, however, he switched to history and government under the guidance of Dean George Petrie. Later in life, Draughon wrote: As a student [I] found many courses dull and did not apply myself except in subjects such as History, Government and Literature which I loved. He was very active on campus, serving in the Student Army Training Corps and later in his college career, as managing editor of the Auburn Plainsman, Auburns student newspaper. On top of writing, he especially enjoyed cartooning. In fact, one of his cartoons made it into the 1921 edition of Auburns yearbook, the Glomerata. In 1922, Draughon obtained his B.S. degree and immediately upon graduation, became a high school teacher in Choctaw County. Looking back, this was quite ironic to Draughon. In 1956, he wrote: [I] had never planned to teach. Thought I wanted to combine cartooning and editorial writing for a career. Decided to teach a year before entering the University of Missouri Pulitzer School of Journalism. Found so much personal satisfaction from teaching that I gave up all plans for Journalismand have never regretted my choice. It is safe to say that he never would have imagined himself playing such the memorable role that he would in Auburns future. After years of teaching, receiving his masters and doctorate degrees, and working his way up the educational ranks, Dr. Luther N. Duncan, then president of Auburn, invited Draughon to return to his alma mater as the Executive Secretary. Once again, Draughon sought the guidance of George Petrie, who helped

4 convince him to take the job. He held this position until 1944 when he became the Director of Instruction, his last job before taking on the role as Auburns president. Over a decade later, in his notes written for the Glomerata, Draughons last sentence was heartfelt, and displayed sincerity, hope, and lastly, wisdom: I believe with all my heart that Auburn from 1956 to 2056, will continue to be a great educational institutionthat it will continue to grow in strength and service, provided that it remains true to its great purposes. Without a doubt, Ralph Draughon held Auburn very near and dear to his heart, and he would go above and beyond to make sure it remained a credible, highly esteemed institution of higher learning. His sharp and tactful mind, honed by military training, years spent in education, and overall life experience, would equip him to tackle one of the forefront revolutions that was taking the South by storm, right in his own Auburn, Alabama.6 Draughons presidential term at Auburn was not a usual one. Dr. Duncan, who had served as Alabama Polytechnic Institutes president since 1935, died suddenly in 1947.7 So suddenly, in fact, that people who sent letters and various documents to Duncan, were surprised to get a response back not from Duncan himself, but from acting President Ralph Draughon. Draughon was immediately faced with racial issues at the

6. Olliff, Just Another Day on the Plains: The Desegregation of Auburn University, Alabama Review 54 (April 2001): 111; Draughon, Notes for Glomerata [ca. 1956]. Ralph Brown Draughon Personal Papers. Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL; Personal Data Ralph Brown Draughon, October 23, 1958, Biographical Data of Ralph Brown Draughon: Sept. 1, 1899-1965, Ralph Brown Draughon Personal Papers, Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

7. McMillan and Jones, Auburn University Through the Years, 21-22.

5 beginning of his career as Auburns president. At the time that he assumed his duties, James E. Folsom Sr. was also serving his first term as Alabamas governor.8 Folsom sent a letter to Draughon in 1949 asking him to be a member of The Committee on Higher Education for Negroes in Alabama, a call which he kindly accepted. This decision could have easily been met with wrath from some of Alabamas more traditional citizens, but from a career standpoint, it was a good move. Draughon knew that race was a delicate subject, so he chose to be proactive early on in his presidency. Plus, he would learn closer to the time of Auburns actual integration that staying on the governors good side was absolutely necessary if the university was going to need tighter security at some point.9 Therefore, his appointment to this committee only strengthened his familiarity with racial tension and fueled his determination to settle matters at Auburn in a civil manner. Draughon may have been pro-segregation, but he strongly believed that both white and black institutions should be equal. However, it is unknown whether this was his original personal ideology or whether the Morrill Act of 1890 influenced his beliefs as president of a land-grant college. After all, the act was concrete in that it specifically prohibited payments of federal funds to states that discriminated against African Americans in the admission to tax-supported colleges or who refused to provide separate

8. Alabama Governors: James Elisha Big Jim Folsom, The Alabama Department of Archives and History, http://www.archives.state.al.us/govs_list/g_folsom.html (accessed October 21, 2013). 9. Auburn University Board of Trustees and Governor George C. Wallace, Minutes of Informal Board Meeting on July 17, 1963, Joseph B. Sarver Jr. Papers, Auburn University Special Collections & Archives, Auburn, AL.

6 but equal facilities for the two races.10 Auburns corresponding black land-grant college was Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.11 During his time as Auburns president, Draughon kept in close touch with Joseph Fanning Drake, the president of Alabama A&M from 1927 to 1962.12 When Drake first wrote to Draughon in the summer of 1954, he brought it to Draughons attention that he and the college had been trying to secure a senior ROTC unit to no avail since as early as 1946.13 In one of Drakes recent attempts that June, the adjutant general of the Department of the Army wrote back to Drake: I am sorry to inform you that the situation regarding the establishment of new Army ROTC units is not at all favorable and that there is no likelihood of additional Army ROTC units being activated in the school year 1954-55.14 After several unsuccessful attempts, Drake wrote to Draughon in hopes that he could give him some advice. Drake knew if the college did not acquire an ROTC unit, A&M ran the serious risk of losing funding from the Land Grant Association.15 Draughon agreed to use his influence to help Drake by writing a letter to Mr. Russell I. Thackrey, the executive 10. M. Christopher Brown II, The Quest to Define Collegiate Desegregation: Black Colleges, Title VI Compliance, and Post-Adams Litigation (Westport: Bergin & Garvey, 1999), 3. 11. Ibid., 4. 12. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Past Presidents, Alabama A&M University, http://www.aamu.edu/aboutaamu/office-of-the-president/pastpresidents/Pages/default.aspx (accessed November 5, 2013). 13. Ralph B. Draughon to Russell I. Thackrey, July 1, 1954, Ralph Brown Draughon Presidential Papers, Auburn University Special Collections & Archives, Auburn, AL. 14. John A. Klein to J. F. Drake, June 18, 1954, Draughon Presidential Papers. 15. Draughon to Thackrey, July 1, 1954, Draughon Presidential Papers.

7 secretary of the Land Grant Association. Had Draughon not fully believed that black institutions should be equal to white institutions, he most likely would not have taken the time to write the letter in the first place. Draughon put a great deal of effort into the letter as well, including suggestions that could prove helpful to the Association: 1. The State Board of Education should . . . require that basic military training be given to all able-bodied male students, and call on the State and Federal Governments for equipment and support. 2. The State Board should intercede with the Department of National Defense for the establishment of some sort of R.O.T.C. Unit for A. & M. 3. The State Board should intercede with the U. S. Office of Education for the exemption of A. & M. from the Military Training requirement until such time as it can be established.16 Though Draughon and Drake worked together to try and bring an ROTC unit to A&M, the institution did not formally secure a unit until 1971, at which time neither Draughon nor Drake were still serving as presidents of Auburn and A&M.17 Like most educated Southerners, Draughon was not one to talk openly about his personal views on race, and it was certainly something he addressed only if he thought it relevant at the time. On one rare occasion in October of 1953, Draughon responded to a letter from Carl W. Borgmann, then president of Vermont and State Agricultural College, concerning black land-grant institutions. Draughons answer to the question of the hour was finally revealed in his response: . . . I have always taken the position that the two Associations should remain separate but that there should be close relationships between

16. Ibid. 17. Charles Johnson Jr., African Americans and ROTC: Military, Naval and Aeroscience Programs at Historically Black Colleges, 1916 to 1973 (Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers, 2002), 195.

8 their Executive Committees. My position is certainly without prejudice to the Negro Institutions but it is based on what I believe to be the realities in the situation.18 Draughon had a special gift when it came to racial matters, as he was able to keep both sides satisfied. He never seemed to agitate by making blatant comments or surprising the masses with dramatic stunts. He made sure not to draw too much attention to himself at the first committee meeting with Governor Folsom by choosing his words carefully and keeping things general: . . . I believe it is a must in Alabama that we attempt to develop in our Negro higher institutions professional training in the fields which Doctor Gallalee mentioned, and go further, and I am sure he would agree with me, improve the quality of the offerings in higher education in the Negro institutions . . . So it seems to me we must study the question of how we may improve them and how we may provide, within the limits of our ability, the opportunities for them to continue their education in the [fields of] higher education.19 Though he later admitted he was surprised to be called on to voice his opinion so early in the process, you would have never known it at the time.20 By 1964, he would have had almost two decades worth of practice when it was time to actually desegregate Auburn. It is easy enough, now, to applaud Draughons decisions and his handling of the racial issues facing Auburn. At the time, however, he had his critics. There were those that felt Draughon was misrepresenting Auburn and showing poor leadership long before the universitys actual integration. Because of Draughons somewhat moderate view on African Americans and higher education, it was not unusual for him to be the target of

18. Ralph B. Draughon to Carl W. Borgmann, October 24, 1953, Draughon Presidential Papers. 19. Transcript from meeting of the Governors Committee on Higher Education for Negroes in Alabama, January 14, 1949, Draughon Presidential Papers. 20. Ralph B. Draughon to John E. Ivey, January 17, 1949, Draughon Presidential Papers.

9 ridicule. One must remember that during this period, few Southerners shared Draughons view. Even though he supported segregation, this was still not enough to win over some of Alabamas most conservative citizens. It was his moderate ideology that made him unattractive to Southerners who were still holding on to the past. The fact that he never came out with emotionally fueled, attention-seeking statements is what most likely left Southerners suspicious. After all, many major figures in Alabama seized every opportunity to voice their strong, pro-segregation opinions to a receptive Southern crowd. Still, Southerners hung on each word of Draughons that was quoted in the newspapers. They wanted to know what Draughon was like, what his leadership style entailed, and how he was running the university. Richard J. Stein, a 1950 graduate of Auburn, was one of these Southerners, fearful of the consequences of integration and obsessed with the impact it would have on his school. On January 17, 1954, Stein penned an unpleasant four-page letter to Draughon, discussing a range of topics from the Souths reputation to Andrew Jackson. This was a man who had obsessed over the issue to the point where he convinced himself integration would be catastrophic. He wrote: The schools offer a perfect institution for this infiltration to take place. In a large percentage of mixed marriages, the original contact was established in schools and colleges. To foolish girls who have been subjected to thought control, and who are impressed with the importance of being intelligent and educated, the idea of pioneering a social revolution is quite dangerous. Thus they become involved with Negros [sic] and wind up bringing half-breed children into the world.21 This was just one of many grievances that Stein had in store for Draughon, and he was not afraid to let him hear every last one of them:

21. Richard J. Stein to Ralph B. Draughon, January 17, 1954, Draughon Presidential Papers, 2.

10 I was both surprised and disgusted by your recent opinions expressed in the Birmingham News and especially of your obvious intention of accepting Negro students to A.P.I. . . . For some reason the people of the South have always been subjected to humiliation. The final blow to degenerate [sic] the South is to force Negros upon the people. The most perfect way for this to become final is to bring Negros into social contact with the Whites . . . For you to give up and bring Negros into the schools is disgraceful. I had rather see Auburn closed than Negros in the School . . . I do hope you consider your actions more carefully.22 Exactly what was said in the Birmingham News article is unknown due to archival restrictions, but it was enough to fuel Stein. Indeed, Draughon was more than used to finding a critical letter or two amongst his mail. He received the letter on January 19, and surprisingly, wrote back. It was quite out of character for Draughon to respond to hate mail at all, let alone type up a full-page response and send it out on the same day he received it. Draughon wrote back to Stein, saying that his letter reminded [him] of the story of the man who got his only exercise from jumping to conclusions. To set the record straight, he reminded the man: I am opposed to the overthrow of the Separate but Equal [sic] Doctrine which the Supreme Court has sustained for many years. I am opposed to the admission of negro students to Auburn. Draughon admitted that a news reporter had approached him, asking two questions: The first question was: What will the effect be on the Alabama Polytechnic Institute if segregation is abolished on the campus? I said that if it came to that, I thought the first applications would be from negroes seeking admission to Graduate School and to Professional Schools in fields like Architecture which cannot be studied at any of our Negro Colleges. I did not believe that there would be many of these at first. If it had to be, I hoped the process would be gradual. He disclosed in the response that the second question was regarding how white Auburn students would react, to which he had no answer simply because he did not know. Finally, Draughon concluded with the following:

22. Ibid., 1-2, 4.

11 Now, since you have jumped to a most erronious [sic] conclusion, in an emotional manner, Id like to suggest that whatever the problems we may have to face in this matter, they cannot be solved by name-calling, denunciation, and ribald emotion. They are going to have to be faced calmly, with straight, hard objective and unemotional thinking. Why not give it a try sometime?23 Though it may not seem like much, this cleverly direct response says a lot about Draughons personality and how he dealt with difficult situations. He would not let himself get rattled easily, and would much rather sit back and take everything in rather than be the center of attention. This is not to say that Draughon was a pushover by any means. Every now and then, something would come to his attention that just did not sit well. There was just something about this particular letter that irked him more than the others. It could have simply been the fact that Draughon had been in office long enough by then to feel comfortable responding to his critics. Those wishing to refute the basic argument that Draughon was a leader to begin with certainly have evidence, as some of Draughons actions during his presidency could be interpreted as prejudice-driven and a little impulsive. One example is the case of William Bell. On February 15, 1948, readers of the Birmingham News-Age-Herald were surprised to wake up that Sunday morning only to find out that William H. Bell, a black World War II Veteran, was waiting to hear back from Auburn concerning his application for enrollment. According to the article, Acting President Ralph B. Draughon said Bells application would be considered along with the others and he did not know what action would be taken.24 It goes without saying that the whole Bell situation was a rough start

23. Ralph B. Draughon to Richard J. Stein, January 19, 1954, Draughon Presidential Papers. 24. Negro Veteran Awaits Action on Application to Enter A.P.I., Birmingham News-Age-Herald, February 15, 1948.

12 for a newly appointed Draughon, and some people were well aware of this. For example, on February 1, Draughons office received a single note card by a Mr. Gus Metz. It simply read: Dear Ralph, It seems to me that you are having more than your share of problems. I just want to wish you the best of luck in arriving at appropriate solutions. Cordially yours, Gus Metz25 When the article came out, its phrasing made it seem that the process was soon to be wrapped up, while many Alabamians sat at home astonished that this was the first they were hearing about such a thing. Many were probably wondering how this mans application made it as far as it did in the first place. Immediately, letters started pouring into Draughons office. A woman from Lipscomb, Alabama wrote to Draughon three days after the article was published, pleading with him not to let it happen. Auburn is, and has been, my ideal of a college we could be proud to send our sons + nephews to. As a Southerner I hate to see this started here, so please do what you can to prevent it.26 All of this was happening while Draughon was still trying to get settled in and pick up where President Duncan had left off. It is how he went about actually handling the situation that could call Draughons leadership and actual ability into question. Unexpectedly, Mr. Bell sent a letter to

25. Gus Metz to Ralph B. Draughon, received February 17, 1948, Draughon Presidential Papers. 26. A.B. Jones to Ralph B. Draughon, received February 18, 1948, Draughon Presidential Papers.

13 Draughon in late February informing him that he was withdrawing his own application. I am regretful for having caused you the trouble that I have but circumstances of my present enrollment influenced me to do so. I am a sufferer of nervousness and need training to become self sufficient.27 A few days later, Draughon admitted in a typed memorandum that he paid $100.00 to a black man named Jim Israel to investigate whether or not he could convince Bell to withdraw his application.28 A second case involved an Auburn professor named Bud Hutchinson. It would be nearly impossible to explain all of the details of this lengthy skirmish in a timely fashion, but historian Martin T. Olliff sums it up nicely: In 1957 an untenured economics assistant professor, Bud Hutchinson, criticized a Plainsman editorial endorsing segregation. Draughon refused to renew Hutchinsons contract in May, too late for him to find work for the upcoming academic year. Hutchinson appealed to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to intervene on his behalf, and in 1958 its national office formally censured the Auburn administration. Although Draughon considered the censure inconsequential, Auburns board of trustees created a joint facultyadministrative Committee on Academic Freedom and tenure policies to comply more fully with AAUP guidelines. Nevertheless, the AAUP censure remained in effect until 1964.29 Of course, there were people who supported Draughon and the Boards decision, but a few felt it was Hutchinsons right to speak freely on the topic. A few days before the board meeting that would determine Hutchinsons fate, writing as if he knew that the professors days as an A.P.I. educator were numbered, one student stood up for him.

27. William H. Bell to Ralph B. Draughon, February 21, 1948, Draughon Presidential Papers. 28. Memorandum by Ralph Draughon, box 13, February 16, 1948, Draughon Presidential Papers. 29. Olliff, Just Another Day on the Plains, 123.

14 Murry Echols response to a negative letter featured in the Auburn Plainsman about a week or two earlier was published in the Letters to the Editor column of the newspapers first March issue of 1957. Not only did Echols find the mans letter entirely unfair and uncalled for, he went on to write that it [was] a sad thing anywhere, much less a college, when a person [couldnt] honestly express his views without some small minded person demanding that he be fired. In a last attempt of getting his point across, Echols reminded readers: Every person has a right to think and speak his opinion as Mr. Hutchinson did, no matter what the subject, and if Russell [did] disagree he should do so on a level of decency.30 Though Echols was strictly responding to a negative letter, his message was one that others could take to heart as well. With the coming of the 1960s, Draughons job only grew more stressful. The intensity, it seemed, escalated a little further each week along with anxiety. Draughon, however, seemed to greet the acceleration with a calm and collected attitude. He was perceptive and handled the situation delicately, using many resources to try and make the eventual desegregation run as smoothly as possible. For one, a handful of Draughons resources were actual universities themselves. Clemson College, which desegregated quietly and successfully on January 28, 1963, was arguably the most helpful.31 In July of 1963, Joe Sherman, the director of public relations at Clemson, visited Auburns campus to speak confidentially with the administrators, to relate what he knew, and to offer

30. Murry Echols, Student Upholds Right to Express Individual Views, Auburn Plainsman, March 6, 1957. 31. Louis Lord, Clemson Integration is Routine Matter, Times-News, January 29,1963.

15 advice.32 Secretary Berta Dunn took detailed notes of the meeting, making sure not to leave anything out about Clemsons successfully proven plan: 2. . . . He outlined in brief form the things they did and the planning involved in the enrollment of their first Negro student Harvey Gantt. 3. After briefing the group on the plan used at Clemson a picture was shown to emphasize the work done by and with the press. 4. Mr. Sherman left with President Draughon and Mr. Ed Crawford a written outline of the plan used at Clemson College and assured them they would be glad to do anything they can to help Auburn in making further plans. 5. They had the security to maintain whatever they would have had to maintain. It never became necessary to use it. This should not be discussed with the Press because it is not their business. 6. Their registration came prior to the regular registration before all students had returned . . . 7. President of Clemson talked and worked out plans with the student leaders, who, in turn, talked down the line with the students.33

Of the countless efforts that Draughon made to protect Auburn during this time, reaching out to Clemson and having Sherman come and speak should be one of the most celebrated. Not only was this plan of action proven at Clemson, it gave Draughon a guide, six months prior to Franklins arrival, which he could meditate over and edit accordingly to meet Auburns needs. Also, Draughon could have gone the safer route by just meeting with Sherman himself, since the occasion was highly confidential. Instead, he took a leap of faith by including a carefully selected few: the Administrative Council, the Council of Deans, an employee from the University Relations Office, and a handful 32. Berta Dunn, Notes on Special Meeting of the Administrative Council, Council of Deans, Certain Student Leaders, and Miss Trudy Cargile of the University Relations Office, July 12, 1963, Joseph B. Sarver Jr. Papers. 33. Ibid.

16 of trustworthy student leaders.34 It may not seem like a significant gesture at first glance, but in actuality, Draughon was reaching out and extending his trust. It gave his comrades a rare inside look; they could see for themselves exactly what the University was facing. This was no longer a distant possibility; it was real, and Draughon needed others to come to terms with it. Finally, after years of civil rights struggles and Auburns attempts to postpone integration, it was January of 1964 and time for the university to open its doors to their first African American student. Two months earlier, Auburn finally received the official order to desegregate on November 5, 1963.35 A day after, the TimesDaily (at the time called the Florence Times), reported: The order came Tuesday from U. S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. . . . The order prohibits the school from turning down Negro student applicants on the basis of color. It said that no conditions or requirements be set for Negroes that do not also apply to white persons.36 Draughon knew how he wanted Auburns integration to be done thanks to the Clemson model, but breaking the official news to the student body was another matter. He had to get creative in terms of reaching out to the almost ten thousand students that were enrolled at Auburn at the time.37 The result saw close to nine thousand of Auburns students filing into then Cliff Hare Stadium

34. Ibid. 35. Auburn Becomes Fourth State University or College to Desegregate, Florence Times (TimesDaily), November 6, 1963. 36. Ibid. 37. Auburn University Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Historical Enrollment Fall Terms, 1859 2013(a), Auburn University, https://oira.auburn.edu/factbook/enrollment/enrtrends/hefq.aspx (accessed November 13, 2013).

17 to listen to Draughon on December 3, 1963, almost a month to the day until Franklin arrived.38 Auburn ha[d] been on the quarter system since 1942 and students had not yet gone home for the holidays, making it a perfect time to call the meeting.39 There is a good chance that some assumed this sudden meeting was an official response to President Kennedys devastating assassination on November 22.40 Most students, however, already had a feeling about what this unexpected meeting would entail; they were hearing the gossip and reading the papers. Draughon opened the meeting with the following: I have called this special meeting [of] all members of the Auburn University student body for the purpose of discussing a matter of tremendous importance to the future of this institution. We are here today to discuss the order of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama that Auburn University must admit Harold Franklin, a Negro, to the Graduate School, effective January 2, 1964.41 In his usual collected manner, Draughon reminded the student body, there will be no disorderly crowd or mob of students at any time, any place on campus and that all students are a[s]ked to take firearms home for Christmas . . . we do not anticipate any trouble. However, we intend to be prepared to prevent it should the need arise.42

38. Olliff, Just Another Day on the Plains, 132. 39. Roy Summerford, Semester System Returns to AU After Half Century Absence, Auburn University News, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8l2LflKX0OMJ:www.auburn.ed u/administration/univrel/news/archive/8_00news/8_00semesters.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct =clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a (accessed December 4, 2013). 40. Kennedy is Slain, Johnson Sworn In, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 23, 1963. 41. Suggested Remarks for President Ralph B. Draughon to Meeting of Auburn University Students Tuesday, December 3, 1963, Draughon Presidential Papers. 42. Ibid.

18 Draughons students must have taken his speech to heart, for Harold Franklins arrival on the 4th of January was relatively without disturbance. At the end of the day, Draughons years of research, preparation, and hard work had paid off. Harold Franklin was safely settled in, and Auburn had managed to avoid the infamous chaos that defined the integration of the University of Alabama and Ole Miss. Draughon has been criticized for his behavior during Auburns first year of desegregation, mostly months after it actually occurred. His reluctance to open Auburns gates to African Americans in January was one thing, but Draughons actions continued to receive condemnation throughout the school year. During these years, it was more than common to see students channel their negativity in the Auburn Plainsman. It was less common, however, to see Draughons name tossed around in these same pieces, especially by his students. After all, criticizing the president of a university, during his actual term no less, took a level of audacity that not many could muster. And so, when such an article was published, it obviously garnered attention. One example is an editorial written about the spring graduation ceremony of 1964. Students were still acclimating to Franklins arrival and emotions were still running high. After all, they had behaved responsibly during Auburns integration and had been submissive to Draughons pleas for obedience, maturity, and toleration of the issue for a couple of years now. Finally, it was time for seniors to graduate: an occasion on Auburns campus in 1964 where, for once, civil rights and integration were not going to be the center of attention. So naturally, graduates were surprised to find a little something extra with their diplomas. An anonymous editorial in the Auburn Plainsmans summer edition read: President Ralph B. Draughon presented each graduate, along with a diploma, a copy of the Presidents Message, the contents of which insulted the recipients

19 ability to make educated decisions. In keeping with the dignity of the office of a university president, the first page of the three-page booklet was a discussion of the value of education as a discipline. The remaining pages, however, contained inferences that to be educated one must fight the Civil Rights Bill and that to be disciplined one must refrain from taking part in sit-ins, demonstrations and the like.43 This was no ordinary editorial. It even grabbed the attention of local newspapers, such as the Columbus Enquirer, which informed its readers Auburn Universitys student newspaper, the Plainsman, criticized University President Ralph Draughon Wednesday for urging graduates of the spring quarter to oppose the civil rights bill.44 In the eyes of some students, Draughon had taken things a little too far. Though they felt insulted at the time and in their eyes, Draughon was the only person to blame, they were unaware of why Draughon acted the way he did in these situations. The students did not know the full story, nor were they expected to. After all, how were the students to know Draughons reasons for doing things and the actual complexity of the situation? Because they did not know the whole story, they blamed the obvious individual. For example, there was no way for students to have known the extent of Governor George Wallaces influence over the entire matter. Draughon may have been the president of Auburn, but he still had to deal with the governor at the end of the day. If he did not act carefully and in a way that Wallace approved of, the consequences could have proven detrimental to Auburn University as a whole. On the other hand, the same applied if Wallace felt that Draughon was acting too liberally or not enough at all. For example, on the day of integration, Alabamas Public Safety Director, Al Lingo, was going above and beyond to

43. A Memorable Message, Auburn Plainsman, June 17, 1964. 44. AU Leader Criticized In Editorial, Columbus Enquirer, June 18, 1964.

20 make sure that much of the press would not be able to cover the days events.45 Even though exclusive press passes had already been given to a select number of reporters, Lingo further stepped in and emphasized to his men that no one with a university press card would be allowed on the campus unless other credentials were produced.46 Harold Franklin even remembered forty-two years later how much Lingo liked to stir up trouble: You have to understand Lingo, the head of the state troopers. His name was really Albert Jennings, but he said he wanted, he chose, the name Al Lingo because it sounded tough. Thats what he said in the papers, so you can see what an idiot he was . . . according to the ministers, he had planned to plant a gun in my things to get me kicked out of school. Thats why the two FBI agents searched my things at the Auburn Methodist Church.47 However, on this particular day, it was Draughon who was irritated with Lingos antics. Olliff wrote in his Just Another Day on the Plains article: When President Draughon protested Colonel Lingos unilateral and provocative order that limited press coverage, Wallace called Draughon to account for not supporting segregation and issued a veiled threat to reduce Auburns state funding.48 Because of this, Draughon had little room for error and could not risk it on either side of the spectrum. He may have already had an African American at Auburn, but there was still a long road ahead: black freshman, transfers, professors etc. One thing was for sure: as long as Wallace was governor, he was

45. State Troopers At Auburn Ordered To Keep Feds Off, Spartanburg HeraldJournal, January 4, 1964. 46. Ibid. 47. Auburn University, Auburn University Desegregates Speakers: Martin T. Olliff and Harold Franklin, Auburn University Digital Library Web site, Vimeo video file, 01:00:07, http://diglib.auburn.edu/150th/series/au_desegregates.htm (accessed November 13, 2013). 48. Olliff, Just Another Day on the Plains, 140.

21 going to make it hard for the African Americans, which in turn, would make Draughons job even more stressful.49 Draughon was only doing what he felt would reestablish his position amid all of the recent change. That being said, he most likely acted in such a way as to not ruffle any Southern feathers. Though Draughon definitely made a few mistakes and took some wrong turns as Auburns president from 1947 to 1965, overall, he played a crucial role as he helped the University cope with the changes that came with integration. Times were obviously changing, and in order to adjust, Auburn needed a man who was more moderate than the typical Southerner. When the University of Alabama integrated, Governor Wallace practically assumed the university presidents job and insisted on dictating what would and would not happen. After all, Wallace was infamous for being incredibly prosegregation. Because of this kind of closed-minded attitude, the University of Alabamas integration was chaotic to the point of gaining nationwide attention. Draughons moderate outlook made him flexible and less difficult to work with. There were some roadblocks, but not nearly enough to outweigh the successes. Auburns journey towards desegregation would undoubtedly have been more traumatic had President Ralph Draughon not led the way, handling the situation with delicacy and efficiency.

49. Minutes from Informal Board Meeting, July 17, 1963, Joseph B. Sarver Jr. Papers.

22 Bibliography Primary Sources: Auburn University, Auburn University Desegregates Speakers: Martin T. Olliff and Harold Franklin, Auburn University Digital Library Web site. http://diglib.auburn.edu/150th/series/au_desegregates.htm (accessed November 13, 2013). Draughon, Ralph Brown, Presidential Papers. Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Draughon, Ralph Brown. Notes for Glomerata [ca. 1956]. Biographical Data of Ralph Brown Draughon: Sept. 1, 1899-1965. Ralph Brown Draughon Personal Papers. Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Sarver, Joseph B. Jr., Papers. Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Secondary Sources: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Past Presidents, Alabama A&M University, http://www.aamu.edu/aboutaamu/office-of-the-president/pastpresidents/Pages/default.aspx (accessed November 5, 2013). Alabama Governors: James Elisha Big Jim Folsom. The Alabama Department of and History. http://www.archives.state.al.us/govs_list/g_folsom.html (accessed October 21, 2013). Auburn University Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Historical Enrollment Fall Terms, 1859 2013(a). Auburn University. https://oira.auburn.edu/factbook/enrollment/enrtrends/hefq.aspx (accessed November 13, 2013). Biographical Data of Ralph Brown Draughon: Sept. 1, 1899-1965. Ralph Brown Draughon Personal Papers. Special Collections and Archives, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Brown II., M. Christopher. The Quest to Define Collegiate Desegregation: Black Colleges, Title VI Compliance, and Post-Adams Litigation. Westport: Bergin & Garvey, 1999. Clark, E. Culpepper. The Schoolhouse Door: Segregations Last Stand at the University of Alabama. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Johnson Jr., Charles. African Americans and ROTC: Military, Naval and Aeroscience

23 Programs at Historically Black Colleges, 1916 to 1973. Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers, 2002. Lambert, Frank. The Battle of Ole Miss: Civil Rights v. States Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. McMillan, Malcolm, and Allen Jones. Auburn University Through the Years. Auburn: Auburn University Press 1973. The National Museum of American History. Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education Timeline. The Smithsonian Institution. http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/resources/timeline.html (accessed November 6, 2013). Olliff, Martin T. Just Another Day on the Plains: The Desegregation of Auburn University. Alabama Review 54 (April 2001): 104-44. Summerford, Roy. Semester System Returns to AU After Half Century Absence. Auburn University News, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8l2LflKX0OMJ:www.au burn.edu/administration/univrel/news/archive/8_00news/8_00semesters.html+&c d=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a (accessed December 4, 2013).