BLOOMINGTON — George Taliaferro broke barriers at Indiana University, and now he'll be immortalized outside Memorial Stadium.
IU president Michael McRobbie announced that Memorial Stadium's north end zone plaza will be renamed the George Taliaferro Plaza, honoring the football star who became the first African-American to play for the Hoosiers. The university will also erect a statue in the plaza.
The announcement was made Saturday at a celebration of life for Taliaferro, who died Oct. 8, 2018 at the age of 91.
“The renamed plaza and new statue will honor George’s many contributions to Indiana University and the Bloomington community and be a fitting tribute to his enduring legacy as an exceptional athlete, trailblazer for racial equality, educator, community activist and friend and mentor to many,” McRobbie said in a release from the university. “They will also reflect the very best of IU athletics and serve to remind all those student-athletes and fans who visit them of what it takes, including enormous courage, determination and integrity, to be a true champion.”
Tailaferro and former IU president Herman B. Wells are credited with playing major roles in desegregating IU's campus.
Taliaferro was a 3-time All-American at IU and the leading rusher on IU's undefeated 1945 Big Ten championship team. He spent six years in the NFL and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.