IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)—It took more than six decades, but the first Black student to be named Miss State University of Iowa in 1955 has received official recognition—and an apology—from the university.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports (http://icp-c.com/2dxWF64) that 78-year-old Dora Martin Berry was 17 when her fellow students elected her in the annual contest. The university at that time was called the State University of Iowa.
But university officials at the time denied Berry representation as Miss SUI at official school events, including that year’s Rose Bowl parade. Other events at which Miss SUI would have traditionally appeared were canceled.
At an event Friday, university President Bruce Harreld apologized to Berry “for 60 years plus of official neglect of your status.’’
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