Campus News

UK Women's Basketball Team Commemorates Adamstown

photo of Memorial Coliseum.
UK's Memorial Coliseum. Mark Cornelison l UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2020) — University of Kentucky women's basketball players will wear new shooting shirts with "Adamstown" on the front during pregame warmups against Alabama tonight in Memorial Coliseum, paying homage to the former community that existed near the site of where the coliseum stands now.

Adamstown was an African American community that was placed at the bottom of a hill on what was the edge of Lexington in the 1870s. By 1880 there were 65 families in the community. Adamstown was on Adams Street, located near what is today Euclid Avenue. The neighborhood moved in preparation for the building of Memorial Coliseum in 1949-50.   Tonight's game is part of an ongoing year-long celebration of the university's "70 Years of Integration" series and commemorating 50 years of black studies at UK. The commemoration is sponsored by UK's Office for Institutional Diversity.   In 1949, Lyman T. Johnson became the first African American to enroll at the University of Kentucky, resulting in the first racially integrated class. In 1968, African American and Africana Studies began with an interdisciplinary course, Afro-American Life and Culture. Later that year, the Black Student Union launched a campaign for more courses. As a result of their successful efforts, the African American Studies and Research Program was born. The program, founded by Emeritus Professor Doris Wilkinson, would eventually become African American and Africana Studies.   Students can now major and minor in AAAS, opening a world of possibilities in today's rapidly diversifying, global economy. A background in AAAS gives students an edge in understanding cultural and structural forces. What students learn throughout the program could lead to career opportunities in business, education, communication, medicine, law and politics.   The 70 years commemoration features a series of events, academic courses and special presentations throughout the 2019-20 academic year. Colleges and units from across the campus are involved in creating a year-long calendar of events and programs that will allow UK to reflect on Johnson's legacy and continue to carry on conversations he started 70 years ago.   For more information on the Kentucky women's basketball team, visit or follow @KentuckyWBB on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

To view a full list of events and programs that commemorate the 70 years of integration, visit


The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.