Richardson Recognized for Silas Hunt Award
Nolan Richardson, former UA men’s basketball coach, was recognized Monday as a recipient of the Silas Hunt Legacy Award. In 1994, Coach Nolan Richardson lead the UA basketball team to a NCAA championship, but of all the awards Richardson has won, he said that this was the best one.
“Everywhere he has been, everywhere he has gone, he has won. For 17 years, he was the beating heart of of the University of Arkansas men’s basketball program,” said Chancellor David G. Gearhart. “Nolan was more than just a coach, he has become a part of Razorback lore. He gave us all the pride, all the respect, all the dignity, all the honor that anyone could hope for.”
Richardson has a deep respect for Silas Hunt and spoke during the reception about Hunt “paving the road.”
“To me that was one of my ultimate goals is to be the best I could possibly be in order that others may follow,” Richardson said. “My grandmother raised me and she always would tell us that ‘if there is a crack in the door, that’s all you need.’ There was a crack in that door for Silas and he kicked it down in order for us, African Americans, to move forward.
In 1948, Silas Hunt was the first African American to attend a public university in the South when he was accepted in the School of Law at the UA.
“The Silas Hunt Award was inaugurated in 2006 as a means to recognize those who have helped to make our campus a more diverse and welcoming place. One of the best features about the award is that is gives us the ability to simultaneously look backward and forward. The award allows us to commemorate Silas Hunt and the other pioneers of color that mustered the courageous and deal with the hardships associated with beginning the first to desegregate this institution” said Charles Robinson, vice provost for diversity.