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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Glennon Threatt, June 16, 2005. Interview U-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Integrating Indian Springs High School

Threatt remembers Indian Springs High School, a boarding school he attended, and may in fact have integrated, in 1969. Threatt describes the school in more detail, but without reference to race or integration, following the end of this excerpt.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Glennon Threatt, June 16, 2005. Interview U-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KIMBERLY HILL:
Let's talk a bit about Indian Springs.
GLENNON THREATT:
Indian Springs [High School] was an unusual place, it was started in 1957 by a guy named Harvey Woodward, who owned Woodward Coal and Iron. He gave I think it was seventeen million dollars which was back when a million dollars was really still a million dollars. They bought seven hundred acres of land down in Shelby County and it was set up as a trust. All the students in the school had to be white Anglo-Saxon Protestants from below the Mason-Dixon line and all the teachers in the school had to be white Anglo-Saxon Protestants from above the Mason-Dixon line. All the teachers had to live on campus. At the time it was an all boarding school and the students were required to work, they had a farm and horses and all that stuff back in the 1950's. They had a circulating board of directors of I think seven or eight, wherever the number was, the members would go off in staggered terms so that they'd allow them to re-elect each other so that it was a constantly cycled group of people. It required a unanimous vote of the board to desegregate the school. So I think it was 1968 when they got their first Catholic and Jewish students, and then in 1969 they got their first black students. It's a beautiful campus, at the time it was in the country, but now it's on 119 which is a pretty well developed area. On the back side of it is Oak Mountain State Park. I went there on scholarship. I met the coach, and one of the teachers there went to Pilgrim Congregational Church. I met them through the Black and White Together Group that I was with in my church. They met me and they talked to my parents and in fact Coach Fred Cameron developed a friendship with my father because my dad was also a high school coach. Coach Cameron was a basketball coach down there, and so they became friends and talked and he asked my parents to let me take the P.S.A.T., the preliminary school admissions test, or whatever it was-it's the test you take to go to private high schools. I took that test and scored in the ninety-seven percentiles nationally. As a result of that test, I got contacted from prep schools all over the country-Andover and Choate and Exeter and all those schools. I went down to Indian Springs and I got the opportunity and my parents got the opportunity to meet Dr. Armstrong, who was the headmaster at the time. They talked to us about the background of the school and that they really wanted some black students to integrate that school. In fact, the second black graduate of Indian Springs is a Professor at University of North Carolina. His name is Julius Scott.