During the Milford High School graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 2012 the Milford eleven were presented honorary degrees from Milford Senior High School. Dubbed the Milford Eleven by national media of the time period, eleven classmates became some of the first African American students to attend a previously all-white school. Ultimately, Milford proved unready to join other schools around the nation that successfully integrated. Under rising tensions and threats of violence, the African-American students were withdrawn from the school after attending for less than a month.
“We are proud to award these eleven individuals with honorary diplomas,” commented Superintendent Sharon Kanter. “They were wrongfully denied this rite of passage fifty-eight years ago as the challenges of change proved to be to difficult in 1954.”
The story of the Milford 11 has been brought to light recently through Orlando Camp, author of the book “The Milford Eleven” and one of the students who attended the Milford High School during this period.
The honorary diplomas were awarded to Mr. Kenneth Baynard, Mr. Alex Leo Blue, Mr. Orlando J. Camp, Mr. Charles P. Fleming Jr., Mr. Eugene F. Harris, Ms. Annie Ruth Thompson McDaniel, Ms. Irene PettyJohn, Ms. Edna M. Sharp, Mr. Ronald Vann and Ms. Madalene Staten Young.