University of Virginia honors legacy of Danville native, college’s first-ever African-American student | Danville


By 1950, Danville native Gregory Swanson had already accomplished many things in his young life.

The son of a well-known Danville family, Swanson had graduated from Howard University and Howard Law School. He had also practiced with Danville civil rights lawyer Jerry Williams.

Though he didn’t know it at the time, Swanson was about to make history by both defending his right to attend the University of Virginia School of Law and becoming the college’s first-ever African-American student.

“I think his name needs to be known,” said Risa Goluboff, Dean of the UVA School of Law.

In January, the law school honored Swanson’s legacy with a ceremony unveiling his portrait in the…

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