I doubt if any of us can grasp just what a frightening experience this was for these young people. Attending High school is a high water mark in any child life but these young children were despised threaten and actually were putting their lives on the line that year in that racist city.Carlotta LaNier attended Michigan State University for two years before moving with her family to Denver. In 1968, she earned a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado) and began working at the YWCA as a program administrator for teenagers. In 1977, she founded LaNier and Company, a real estate brokerage firm. Her experience in real estate includes everything from constructing and remodeling properties to marketing and selling them.LaNier is currently the president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation, a scholarship organization dedicated to ensuring equal access to education for African-Americans. She has also served as a trustee for the Iliff School of Theology. LaNier and her husband, Ira "Ike" LaNier, have two grown children.
Terrence Roberts a sophomore at Horace Mann High School when he volunteered to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. When the city's high schools were closed to prevent further desegregation, Roberts moved to Los Angeles, California, and graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959.Following his graduation from high school, Roberts attended California State University and was awarded a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1967. He went on to attend graduate school at the University of California at Los Angeles and received a master's degree in social welfare in 1970. In 1976, Roberts was awarded a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in psychology. Following his graduation from SIU, Roberts moved to the Napa Valley and directed the mental health unit of St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park, California, for ten years. After this, Roberts accepted an invitation to join the UCLA School of Social Welfare as assistant dean. In 1994, he took a position of department chair of the psychology program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. As demands on his time increased, Roberts became program co-chair to concentrate on the activities of his management consulting firm. Currently, he is a faculty member at Antioch and travels widely sought-after speaker and consultant.
Jefferson Thomas was born in 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas. A quiet young man with a sense of humor, Thomas was a track athlete at Horace Mann High School when he chose to volunteer to integrate all-white Central High School for the 1957-58 school year as a sophomore. The Nine were harassed daily by white students, and Thomas' quiet demeanor made him a target for bullies at the school. He graduated from Central high School in 1960 and eventually became an accountant for the United States Department of Defense. Thomas is now retired and he died yesterday of cancer.
Gloria Cecelia Ray was born September 26, 1942, in Little Rock. She was the third child of H.C. Ray, Sr. and Julia Miller Ray. Mr. Ray was already a retired federal employee when Gloria entered Central High (he was born 1889, the son of a former slave). In the beginning of the century, it was he who founded the Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service for Negroes under the auspices of the US Dept of Agriculture; he had also studied and work for none other than the distinguished George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, before graduating from Tuskegee Institute. These facts strongly influenced Ray's choice to attend Central High School. She was 14 years old when she finished Dunbar Junior High School and registered to attend Central for her sophomore year. Ray, like the others of the Nine, was tormented by certain white students who called her names, threw things, spit, vandalized her locker, and even pushed her down a flight of stairs. Still, like the others, she was determined to finish the year.Her mother, a woman with two university degrees, and a Sociologist working for the State of Arkansas, was fired by Faubus when she refused to withdraw Ray from Central High. The following year when all public high schools in Little Rock remained closed, Ray moved to Missouri where her mother had been able to find employment, and attended the newly integrated Kansas City Central High School. After high school graduation, she attended Illinois Institute of Technology (ITT), in Chicago. She graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. Immediately after graduation she worked briefly as public school teacher and laboratory research assistant at the University of Chicago Research Medical Center. In 1966, Gloria Ray married Krister Karlmark, a professor at the Institute of Design in Chicago, and industrial designer. The same year, she joined the IIT Research Institute as Assistant Mathematician on the APT IV (robotics) project-which included work at Boeing in Seattle, McDonnell-Douglas in Santa Monica and NASA Automation Center in St. Louis. In 1970, Ray Karlmark joined IBM Nordic Laboratory in Sweden, working as a System Analyst/Technical Writer.