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Rev. Dr. Winfred Hope

UGA and Community Leaders Honor Reinterred Remains

20 March 2017

Members of the Athens community joined the University of Georgia community at Oconee Hill Cemetery for a tribute to those whose remains were discovered during construction at Baldwin hall.

Dr. Gregory Broughton providing a vocal tribute with his rendition of “Amazing Grace,” during Monday’s ceremony honoring the reinternment of those remains. President Jere Morehead was also joined by the Reverend Dr. Winfred Hope of Ebenezer Baptist Church and Athens native and U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones.

“Despite all that we do not know, it is our privilege to join together today, in complete reverence, pay tribute to these individuals as they assume their final resting place here in Oconee Hill Cemetery,” Jones said.

The remains of the individuals were placed in 105 funeral boxes before being laid to rest. President Morehead said the ceremony was developed to honor the lives of the reinterred.

“From the moment the first remains were discovered in November of 2015, the university’s guiding principle has been to treat these individuals with dignity and respect,” according to Morehead.

UGA will sponsor additional research to learn more about the individuals. Oconee Hill Cemetery will provide for the perpetual care of the reinternment site.

This site is marked by a granite marker that reads:

Here lie the remains of 105 unknown individuals, originally interred during the 19th century. The vast majority of the 30 remains able to be identified were those of men, women and children of African descent,
presumably slaves or former slaves. Others were of European and Asian descent. Their remains were discovered in November 2015 during the University of Georgia’s Baldwin Hall construction project adjacent to the Old Athens Cemetery. In March 2017, they were respectfully reinterred here. May they continue to rest in peace.

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