Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

With All Due Respect

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

With All Due Respect

Article excerpt

At many traditionally White colleges and universities, the legacy of pioneering minority students lives on.

Edward Alexander Bouchet: Yale University, BA 1874, Ph.D. 1876

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Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet became the first African-American in the U.S. to hold a doctorate when he earned a Ph.D. in psychics in 1876. Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences established the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in his honor. The Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. Yale also unveiled a memorial tombstone in 1998 in honor of its first Black graduate.

Silas Hunt: University of Arkansas School of Law, admitted 1948

Silas Hunt, who became the first African-American to gain entrance to the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1948, left a legacy at the Fayetteville, Ark.-based institution despite his death from tuberculosis in 1949. The university named Silas Hunt Hall, which houses its Office of Admissions, Registrar's Office, Student Accounts Office and Office of Financial Aid, in his honor. UA also established The Silas Hunt Scholarship Mentoring Program, a four-year academic scholarship that includes an academic support program.

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Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander: University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. 1921, LLD 1927

Dr. Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in the United States when she earned a doctorate in economics in 1921 at the University of Pennsylvania. Six years later, Alexander became the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School, an elementary school in West Philadelphia, is named after her. The public school, which opened in September 2001, was developed in partnership with the university.

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Mary Frances Early: University of Georgia, MA 1962

Mary Frances Early, former chair of Clark Atlanta University's music department, became the first African-American to hold a graduate degree from the University of Georgia when she earned a master's in music education in 1962. The university's Graduate and Professional Scholars organization, a student-run organization dedicated to the needs of minority graduate students on the UGA campus, honors her with the Mary Frances Early Lecture. The annual event features speakers who discuss issues affecting African-Americans in society.

Lillian Jenkins: University of Tennessee, MA 1954

In 1954, Lillian Jenkins' master's degree in special education made her the first African-American to earn a graduate degree from the University of Tennessee. …

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