- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) - Fifty-five years after earning it, Alva Earley has received his Galesburg High School diploma.

On Friday, the 73-year-old Earley entered the Lincoln School to applause, and after a few moments of ceremony was given his diploma. District 205 Superintendent Bart Arthur called said it was sad that some things occurred in 1959.

Earley was denied the diploma because he attended a picnic at North Lake Storey Park, which was then off limits to black people. Early said his lack of a diploma prompted two colleges that accepted him to later rescind their offers.

Earley eventually received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois. He then received a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Chicago Kent Illinois Institute of Technology and a doctor of divinity degree from Northwestern University.

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Information from: WGIL-AM.


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