Tillman-Smart Parlor

Posted on August 23, 2017

JoAnne Smart (left) and Bettye Ann Davis Tillman (right), 1956

In 1956, Bettye Ann Davis Tillman and JoAnne Smart, became the first African-American students to enroll at the Woman’s College (now UNCG). Upon their graduation in 1960, there were twenty African-American students attending the Woman’s College. Tillman and Smart were housed by themselves in a residence wing of Shaw Residence Hall. In 1992, the parlor of the Shaw Residence Hall was named and dedicated in their honor. The naming and dedication was primarily the idea of Robin Edwards, then president of a black student group at UNCG. Joanne Smart Drane (who in 1996 would become a member of UNCG’s Board of Trustees) spoke at the dedication ceremony on April 20, 1992. Sadly, Bettye Ann Davis Tillman died in 1968.

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