Central York High School athlete Laura Beveridge: ‘I certainly have not forgotten her’
Laura Carroll Beveridge is Central’s all-time greatest athlete, according to the York Daily Record/Sunday News. She’s also credited with breaking the racial barrier at Central. Background posts: Civil rights heroes stand out at Bradley exhibit, 1967 William Penn senior class scored firsts and Scores in York mourn death of former Cat chief.
Jonathan R. Stayer graduated from Central York High School in 1978, the same year as Laura Carroll Beveridge.
The York Daily Record/Sunday News recently selected Beveridge as that school’s all-time top athlete.
But Stayer, now head of the reference section at the Pennsylvania State Archives, remembers Beveridge as a trailblazer on the racial front.
Here’s his assessment in his own words from a recent e-mail:
“In 1977, she was selected as the school’s first African American homecoming queen in Central’s history, so far as I know. This accomplishment is all the more remarkable considering that Central was about 99.9% white at the time – I recall that we had no more than 12-15 African Americans in a student body of 1,100-1,200.
For that moment, I was proud that my class and my school could overcome racial prejudice. In my yearbook, Laura wrote, ‘Hopefully you will remember me . . . .’ I certainly have not forgotten her, and I hope that you will do a more complete story on Laura and her remarkable life.”
The Central School Board has benefited for many years from the contributions of Dan Elby, a leader in the black community.
Laura Beveridge was another pioneer in that district and will be added to the growing list of minority and female achievers who have paved the way for others in York County.
For additional posts on black history in York County, click here.