Mary Frances Early became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Georgia in 1962. As a transfer graduate student from the University of Michigan, she came down south to aid Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, two other early UGA African-American, in their struggle for integration at the university. She felt as though they shouldn’t do it alone.
After earning her master of music education degree in 1962, Mary went on to earn a specialist degree in music education in 1967. After Georgia, Early studied abroad in Brazil and Africa and received leadership certification from Georgia State University.Her distinguished career includes professor work at Morehouse and Spelman colleges and also as a music coordinator and supervisor of Atlanta Public Schools. She would also become recognized as she became the first African-American president of the Georgia Music Educators Association in 1981. Early also affiliated with the Music Educators National Conference, College Music Society, and National Association of Schools of Music, among other organizations.
For more information on Mary Frances Early, check out her article in the Athens Banner-Herald.