New Hanover County Schools




Williston Legacy Graduation

Williston Graduation Video and Pictures

WECT's Live Coverage
Williston graduates line the hall preparing to walk in their legacy graduation ceremony



The Fault Line: The Summer Williston Closed

Click the Image Above for The Full Fault Line Story 
On July 1, 2023 a Legacy Graduation Ceremony will take place to honor members of the Williston Senior High Classes of 1969 and 1970, who were denied the opportunity to graduate from their school after the school board abruptly closed it when forced to integrate.
In the months leading up to the ceremony, we will be sharing the stories of the Black elders in our community who lived through those turbulent years and came through them with grace, strength, wisdom and dignity.
No one story tells the whole story, but we hope that by sharing their voices we can do what New Hanover County Schools failed to do in 1968: Honor the value and contributions of that historic school and its students and staff.



In Their House Click the Image Above for In Their House Story 

Williston Alumni can register by clicking the seal logo below or calling 910-798-7430.
The school district, county and the city are working with Williston Alumni groups and will be developing additional partnerships in the community as the planning for this important event continues. If you are interested in donating toward the graduation ceremony or getting involved, contact Linda Thompson at 910-798-7430 or use the link below.
Donations can also be mailed to:
Better is Possible
PO Box 415
Wilmington, NC 28402


Dear Alumni please join us as we honor the Williston Senior High School classes of 1969 and 1970 flyer.


New Hanover County Schools, the City of Wilmington, and New Hanover County Government are partnering to host a legacy graduation ceremony for the Williston Senior High School alumni. The ceremony, scheduled for July 1, 2023, will provide an opportunity for members of the Classes of 1969 and 1970 to participate in a graduation ceremony that was denied to them more than 55 years ago when the school was abruptly closed under pressure from the federal government to desegregate schools.
The Williston Senior High School was an all-Black school and had been a source of upward mobility and a center of life for the Black community.
Professor Emeritus Phillip Clay Ph.D
The legacy graduation ceremony will take place at the Williston Middle School Gymnasium and will feature Professor Emeritus Phillip Clay, Ph.D. as the keynote speaker. Clay is a Wilmington native, a 1964 Williston Senior High School alumni, and the first Black Chancellor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 


In addition to the legacy graduation ceremony, a private listening session will be held with alumni and New Hanover County Schools will collect and publish stories from Williston Senior High School Classes of 1969 and 1970 and share them with the community. To request to be interviewed about your time at Williston, contact Christina Beam at or call 910-254-4109.