New Hanover County Schools




Williston Legacy Graduation

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.
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.