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Saturday 04/12
LSU
1
Tennis - Men
4
Sunday 04/06
University of Tennessee
4
Tennis - Men
0
Friday 04/04
University of Georgia
4
Tennis - Men
0
Sunday 03/30
University of South Carolina
4
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0
Friday 03/28
University of Florida
3
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4
Sunday 03/23
Mississippi State
4
Tennis - Men
2
Friday 03/21
Ole Miss
4
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2
Friday 03/14
University of Nebraska-Omaha
0
Tennis - Men
5
Friday 03/14
University of Nebraska-Omaha
0
Tennis - Men
5
Friday 03/14
Texas A&M University
4
Tennis - Men
0
Sunday 03/09
University of Alabama
3
Tennis - Men
4
Friday 03/07
Auburn University
4
Tennis - Men
3
Sunday 03/02
University of Kentucky
6
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1
Friday 02/28
Vanderbilt University
7
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0
Sunday 02/23
SIU-Edwardsville
0
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4
Sunday 02/23
SIU-Edwardsville
1
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6
Saturday 02/22
Oklahoma State University
5
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2
Friday 02/14
University of Tulsa
4
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3
Sunday 02/09
Purdue University
6
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1
Friday 02/07
University of Texas-Pan American
1
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6
   
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A vehicle for change

02/18/2012
Kevin Trainor, Athletic Public Relations
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Black History Month began Feb. 1, 2012, and will be celebrated through the end of the month, ending Feb. 29, 2012. The University of Arkansas Athletics Department begins its fourth year of recognizing the accomplishments of current and former Razorback student-athletes as well as other prominent students, faculty and staff with its web series on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. This year, the web series will feature stories of former Razorback student-athletes who have gone on to coaching positions in universities or colleges around the state and country. In addition, the series will recognize four Silas Hunt honorees.

In our society, many people talk about the need for change. Whether it is improving the quality of life for us and others, challenging conventional thinking or fighting for social equality, there is no shortage of volunteers to take part in spirited dialogue. However, when it comes to taking those beliefs and translating them into a meaningful course of action, far fewer step forward to answer the call. After all, it is much easier to speak of ideals than to commit oneself to working tirelessly to achieve that change.

For nearly 70 years, Christopher Columbus "C.C." Mercer has not only spoken eloquently about racial equality in Arkansas, he has worked proactively to make it happen. Mercer was born in Pine Bluff and is one of the "Six Pioneers," the first six African American students to enroll at the University of Arkansas School of Law. During his time in law school, he supported himself by teaching biology, chemistry and math classes, including a business class for veterans at Carver High School in Marked Tree.

After graduating from the law school in 1955 and passing the bar exam with the highest score in his group, Mercer went on to play an integral part in the legal community and in the civil rights struggle in the state of Arkansas. He was a pivotal figure in the integration of Little Rock Central High School, serving as aide-de-camp for Daisy Bates and transporting the "Little Rock Nine" to and from school each day their first semester.

Mercer was the first African American in the South to serve as a deputy prosecutor and continues to practice the law after more than 56 years, often representing clients of modest means who otherwise would not have been able to afford a lawyer of his caliber.

During his distinguished career, Mercer served as co-director of the Arkansas Council on Human Relations, field secretary for the NAACP, and deputy prosecutor for Pulaski and Perry counties - the first African American to hold that position in the South. He recently celebrated his 57th year of practicing law.

Mercer has helped move the dialogue in Arkansas and at the University of Arkansas past questions of integration into a discussion of inclusion.

Because Mercer and others opened the door to African Americans at the University of Arkansas School of Law, hundreds of people of color have been able to follow in their footsteps. While Mercer's legacy of excellence includes legal luminaries such as former Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, his legacy is perhaps best embodied by the many diverse lawyers who quietly and effectively represent their clients in Arkansas and across the country.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Arkansas at commencement this past May.

In addition, for his efforts, Mercer is being honored as one of four recipients of the Silas Hunt Legacy Award, which recognizes African Americans for their significant achievements or contributions to the community, the state and the nation.

On Feb. 2, 1948, Silas Hunt became the first black student in modern times to attend a major Southern public university when he was admitted without litigation into the University of Arkansas School of Law. Hunt, who grew up in Texarkana, was a veteran of World War II and earned his undergraduate degree at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Hunt died of tuberculosis in the spring of 1949 before finishing his law degree. 

The Silas Hunt Legacy Award was created by the university in 2005 and first awarded in 2006. This year's recipients were nominated and selected by a volunteer selection committee of University of Arkansas faculty, students, professional staff and former recipients.

Mercer and the other three Silas Hunt Legacy Award honorees, Dr. Roderick McDavis, Nolan Richardson and Marjorie Wilkins Williams will be honored at a formal black-tie event in April.

It will be a fitting honor for Mercer who has spent his life not just talking about progress, but being a catalyst for it. Whether it was blazing his own pioneering path or helping others in their journey, for more than 70 years Mercer has been a true vehicle for change in Arkansas and beyond.
   


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