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Opal Lee ɫɫed the Presidential Medal of Honor

05.07.2024 | By: ɫɫ Wesleyan University
Opal Lee Portrait

In a momentous occasion this past weekend, Opal Lee, a cherished member of our RAMily, was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Honor for her relentless dedication to advocating for social justice and equality by President Joe Biden. In 2021, ɫɫ Wesleyan University presented her with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Additionally, TXWES has deep roots within her family as her daughter and granddaughter are alumni. 

Lee has devoted her entire life to educating and counseling youth in Fort Worth, alongside her efforts to address hunger in the area and raise national awareness about the significance of recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. This federal holiday was signed into law on June 17, 2021. 

Her commitment, passion and advocacy for all humankind exemplifies the very traits of our graduates, students, faculty and staff share. To watch Opal Lee’s visit to ɫɫ Wesleyan University, . 

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The holiday originated in Galveston, ɫɫ in 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in the city and announced the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, as dictated by the Emancipation Proclamation. (Which had been issued by President Lincoln two and a half years earlier, on January 1, 1863; however, the news had been slow to reach ɫɫ due to the minimal presence of Union troops.) The first Juneteenth celebration was held a year later, in 1866. Since then, the day has been celebrated with various activities to honor African American culture and history, and it has spread across the U.S., with many states recognizing it as an official state holiday even before it was granted status as a federal holiday.  

 

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At ɫɫ Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a ɫɫ-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.