Published: Apr 19, 2012 7:22 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State University is celebrating 50 years of integration.

The three-day celebration beginning Thursday reflects on the legacy of three pioneering black students.

They include the late Maxwell Courtney, who died 10 years after becoming Florida State's first black graduate in 1965.

Fred Flowers, the university's first black athlete and his sister, Doby Flowers, its first black homecoming queen, are participating along with one of Courtney's relatives, John Payne.

The events include a 1,500-person "Hand in Hand Across Time" human chain on Thursday.

Fred Flowers, who played baseball at Florida State, is to throw out the first ball on Friday at the Seminoles' game against the University of Miami.

Famed poet Maya Angelou is speaking on Saturday.