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401 S 10th Street
Pride of the Community
On May 28, 1930, the Board of Education awarded contracts for a new Williston High School to be built to meet new the legal space requirements for students in 1929. At this time approximately 140 of the 963 only attended part time due to limited classroom space. The third Williston School opened on January 16, 1931 with the class of 1931 being the first to graduate. Williston, rebuilt in 1937 due to a fire, and what stands today as Gregory School, became the new Williston Industrial School, dedicated on May 24, 1938. Williston School became the pride of the community as well as “Southeastern Carolina’s leading Negro institution of learning,” according to the Negro Business and Professional Men and Women in 1946. Faculty and staff of the school helped to create a tradition for the students to enable them to succeed personally and professionally. Many celebrated people attended Williston prior to integration in 1968. Famed graduates include Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters, Jimmy Heath of Heath Brothers, and Wimbledon Champion Althea Gibson. Some Williston alums later graduated from Hampton, Tuskeegee, Yale and Duke as well as a number of other universities and colleges. Williston Senior High closed in 1968 during the desegregation of Wilmington schools and the building became an integrated middle school.

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