WKU to name residence hall in honor of Margaret Munday

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ky. (WBKO) - This Friday, WKU will honor their first African American student and graduate, Margaret Munday, by naming a residence hall in her honor.

In 1956, Logan County native Margaret Munday made history as the first African American student to enroll at Western Kentucky State College (later to become WKU) after desegregation. She studied music and was a member of the Western Chorus.

“I was at another college, and I saw in the Courier-Journal paper that WKU was going to open up its doors for integration,” Munday told WBKO News.

However, her intention was not about integration, but to be closer to home. “That was a crucial time really and I didn’t have sense enough to realize trying to integrate into a school and didn’t realize the danger or anything like that you know. I was looking at it as I was going to be close to home,” she said.

Four years later, in 1960, Munday became the first African American to earn an Undergraduate Degree from the University. Her Bachelor’s Degree was in Music and Elementary Education.

Her career was spent teaching in Logan County. In the decades following her graduation, Munday taught music at every school in the county.

“My first school was a training school that only went to 8th grade and was an all-black school because the schools, the lower grades, did not integrate at the same time that the colleges did, and all the counties didn’t integrate at the same time either and this county hadn’t integrated at all,” Munday recalled about those early years.

A few of her former students are currently educators in Logan County.

Kyle Pendleton, Middle School Special Education Teacher, at Auburn Elementary recalls being a student of Munday. “She loved the students. You could tell she was passionate about us.”

Katie Ross, Intervention Teacher at Auburn Elementary said, “I remember she would teach from her piano. She would play us a song, teach us the song, then tell us the history of the song.”

In 2012, WKU recognized her as a Distinguished Alumni.

This year, she will be the first African American to have a building named in her honor on campus.

Ms. Munday was humble about the dedication, saying that if someone had told her back then that she would receive this honor, she would not have believed them. “I wouldn’t have believed it and it was hard for me to believe even when it did happen, but I was grateful for it.”

The dedication of Munday Hall will be held Friday morning at 9:30 at 1575 Normal Street.