Charter member William Thompson was a Tuskegee Airman. His father was also the first black graduate of Michigan State University in 1904.
Charter member Fred Johnson was inducted in the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993, as a tribute to his outstanding accomplishments as a member of the Spartan track & field program. He won the indoor NCAA Championship in the broad jump in 1949, while also earning All-America honors in the low hurdles that same year. In addition, he was a six-time IC4A champion, claiming five in the broad jump and one in the 220-yard low hurdles.
To this day, Johnson still holds the Spartans' school record in the long jump, leaping 7.74m (25-4 3/4) in 1948. Also during his time at MSU, he shared the world record in the 65-yard low hurdles. In total, Johnson broke eight varsity track and field records during his time as a Spartan.
Don Coleman, class of 1952, earned a bachelor's degree in business and public service. A varsity football player, he was named All-American in 1951. Coleman was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Blue Key, a national scholastic and service fraternity. Hall of Famer Coleman became MSU’s first black All-American.
Jim Ellis was Michigan State's first back-to-back football All-American. Team’s record during his career at Michigan State - a staggering 27-1. He was captain of the 1953 Big Ten Championship team, and sent his head coach, Biggie Munn, out a winner with MSC's 28-20 victory over UCLA in the 1954 Rose Bowl.
William ‘Willie the Pro” Thrower was the first African American to play as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). As a backup quarterback, Thrower helped lead the 1952 MSU Spartans to an undefeated 9-0 season and a national title.
An amateur known by sports writers as 'The Spartan Ringmaster', Herb Odom won two NCAA titles at Michigan State University in 1954 and 1955. (Boxing).
Dr. Iverson Bell's outstanding leadership and contributions in the promotion of diversity in veterinary medical education, one of Michigan State’s first Black Veterinary Medicine Graduates, At Michigan State he was a member of the Junior American Veterinary Medicine Association.
Jesse Thomas, a Michigan State football player from 1948-50 who went on to play three seasons in the NFL. Thomas, who starred at Flint Central High School and was eventually inducted into the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame, played halfback and on defense for coach Biggie Munn at Michigan State and also became a Big Ten championship sprinter and hurdler.
Reginald Ayala attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship as the first African American basketball player in the school's history. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1954 with an undergraduate degree in hotel management.
Ellis Duckett made the All-American Team at the end position. Michigan State won the Rose Bowl game in 1954 with Ellis blocking a punt and scoring the touchdown that was the turning point of the game. NCAA National Football Champions in 1952. After leaving Michigan State he played two seasons of professional football in the Canadian Football League.
LeRoy Bolden helped Northern to the 1950 state championship and played on Michigan State's national championship team in 1952. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound back was MSU's Most Valuable Player in 1953 and co-captain of the 1954 team. He was also an All-American.
Julius McCoy's 27.2 points per game in 1955-56 remain fourth all-time at MSU. He scored 1,377 points in three seasons in East Lansing, and remained the Spartans' leading career scorer until Mike Robinson passed him almost 20 years later. As a senior, McCoy's 27-point, 10-rebound average earned him All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.
He scored 40 or more points four times at MSU. His 45 points against Notre Dame in December of 1955 is tied for the third-most points scored by a Spartan.
FIRST BLACK MSU BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBER, Blanche Martin, class of 1959, takes the oath of office as the first African American member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees on January 6, 1969. Martin served two consecutive terms on the board. A former football star at Michigan State, he was named to the All-American academic first team (1957-58) and was awarded the Ross Trophy for outstanding academic and athletic achievements (1959). He earned a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Detroit in 1967 and established his dental practice in East Lansing.
Mel Smith founded one of the first HMOs (A health maintenance organization) in Michigan. Bro. Smith used mainly black doctors, in Detroit.
Rico Beard - Radio personality. Co-host of the "The Ryan and Rico Show" on Detroit Sports 105.1.
Eric Hamilton - Technology Entrepreneur & Author in NYC. Founder of the consumer electronics product TinyStic & the Web Academy, an online web school which recently reached its 4000th enrollment.
Al Martin, an Emmy-nominated broadcaster. Host, Current Sports with Al Martin.