The beautifully landscaped entryway to the University of Alabama's Foster Auditorium is named for the first three black students to register at the university.
The clocktower is named for Autherine Lucy Foster, an early pioneer of integration who registered at Alabama in 1956. However, her enrollment lasted only three days, after which she was suspended and expelled because the school would not guarantee her safety. Her expulsion was overturned in 1988, and she returned to graduate alongside her daughter in 1992.
Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood, for whom Malone-Hood Plaza is named, were the first students to attempt registering at Alabama after mandatory desegregation in 1963. As they approached the auditorium to sign up for their first classes, Alabama Gov. George Wallace blocked their way in symbolic protest of Brown vs. Board of Education and the federal order to integrate public schools. After a dramatic showdown with the Alabama National Guard, federalized by President John F. Kennedy, Wallace eventually stepped aside and the students were allowed to register.
Foster Auditorium was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2005. Malone-Hood Plaza was dedicated in 2010, by which time the University of Alabama boasted the nation's second-highest African-American enrollment of any public flagship school.