Clyde Kennard Mississippi Freedom Trail Marker Unveiling

Clyde Kennard Mississippi Freedom Trail Marker Unveiling



Parking will be available behind Kennard-Washington Hall and along Southern Miss Drive and East Memorial Drive. Please enter campus through the main Hardy Street entrance. 

Clyde Kennard Mississippi Freedom Trail Marker Unveiling

Transportation will be provided from available parking to the event site for those requiring special accommodations. Please dress appropriately for this outdoor event.

For additional information or to notify us of any special accommodations, please contact 601.266.5970.   


About Clyde Kennard

Clyde KennardBorn June 12, 1927, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Clyde Kennard was a pioneer in the quest to desegregate higher education in Mississippi. From 1955 to 1959, Kennard made several attempts to enroll at Mississippi Southern College, now The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), but was denied entry by college, state and local officials. Although his efforts were obstructed, Kennard persisted until he was falsely accused and convicted of multiple crimes, then ultimately sentenced to seven years at Parchman Farm, now the Mississippi State Penitentiary. While there, he was diagnosed with cancer but was denied proper medical treatment until he was critically ill. Tragically, he died on July 4, 1963, at the age of 36.

On March 30, 2006, Kennard was declared innocent after subsequent investigations showed that he had been framed. To atone for its role in this injustice, USM renamed the student services building in honor of Kennard in 1993. Later, USM established a scholarship program to continue Kennard's legacy and help students become future graduates of the University. Today, more than 40 students have benefitted from this program.