WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - Next year will mark 50 years since William & Mary welcomed its first black residential students.

The university says in a press release that it's planning to commemorate the event throughout the next academic year.

Karen Ely, Lynn Briley and Janet Brown arrived as freshmen in 1967. They graduated in 1971.

A university committee plans to celebrate the women's role in the school's history at major events such as commencement. A possible symposium, speaker series and special programming are also being considered.

Two years from now, William & Mary will commemorate the 100th anniversary of women at the school.