Meet Ronald Yancey

Meet Ronald Yancey The Man Who Made History As Georgia Tech’s First Black Graduate In 1965

Breaking Barriers at Georgia Tech

In 1965, Ronald Yancey etched his name in the annals of history by becoming the first Black graduate of the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His journey to this groundbreaking achievement was marked by rejection, perseverance, and an unwavering determination to overcome the obstacles that stood in his way.

“He faced significant challenges along the way, being the only Black graduate among 300 students. Yancey’s journey to graduation was marked by rejection, as he was turned down twice before the school granted him conditional acceptance.”

Defying the Odds

Despite facing additional exams, papers, and discriminatory requirements not imposed on his peers, Ronald Yancey defied the odds and successfully earned his degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech – a feat that would pave the way for future generations of Black students at the institution.

“Once on campus, the elder Yancey endured isolation and discrimination and was barred from attending athletic events or using public transportation. He was also asked to meet discriminatory graduation requirements and complete additional exams that weren’t asked of other graduating seniors.”

A Trailblazer’s Legacy

In recognition of his pioneering role in breaking barriers at Georgia Tech, the university installed a sculpture titled “The First Graduate” in the heart of the campus, commemorating Ronald Yancey’s groundbreaking achievement.

“To honor his groundbreaking achievement, the university installed a sculpture titled “The First Graduate” in the heart of the campus, commemorating Yancey’s pioneering role in breaking barriers at Georgia Tech.”

Passing the Torch

Nearly six decades after his historic commencement, Ronald Yancey had the honor of passing the torch to his granddaughter, Deanna Yancey, as she earned her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the same institution.

“Last week, he was able to hand his own granddaughter, Deanna Yancey, her diploma from Georgia Tech when she walked across the stage.”

A Legacy Continued

Deanna Yancey’s graduation not only marked her own academic achievement but also served as a testament to the barriers her grandfather broke and the doors he opened for future generations.

“It’s just beyond me how someone could be so strong in such a hard time,” Deanna said. “He’s broken barriers and he’s opened doors that I will never have to experience opening myself.”

Through his unwavering spirit and determination, Ronald Yancey left an indelible mark on Georgia Tech and paved the way for countless others to follow in his footsteps, ensuring that his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.