COLUMBIA — Eliot Battle worked for Columbia Public Schools as a guidance counselor, assistant principal and director of guidance for the district. He was Hickman High School's first black faculty member.
Eliot and his wife, Muriel, for whom the new high school is named, worked tirelessly to help ease the tensions from school desegregation and bring the community at large together.
With the help of Arvarh Strickland, MU's first tenured African-American professor, Battle founded the Minority Men's Network. Its mission is to "to utilize the power of committed men to improve the lives of ethnic minorities through leadership and service," according to the group's website.
The MU Graduate School awarded Battle an honorary doctorate in 2009 to celebrate his services to the community as an educator and a leader in racial integration. A recent documentary, "Battle: Change from Within," was made about his role in desegregation.
In this video, Battle talks about how proud he is of his wife and her many accomplishments.
Here is a look at Muriel Battle's life. Graphic by Haoyun Su