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Black Milestones in Higher Education: Buckeye Edition July 21, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in Academia, African American Students, Black History, Black PhDs, Black Students, Blogroll, Buckeyes, Higher Education, Ohio State University, Ruth Ella Moore, Women in Science.
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Buckeyes 

History and Overview: The Ohio State University first opened its doors to students on September 17, 1873. In 1892, OSU produced its first African American graduate. In 1873 OSU, known at the time as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, boasted 24 students. In the fall of 2006 the University enrolled 51,818 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at its Columbus campus. Of those 3,495 — or 6.7% — were African American.

Black Milestones at Ohio State University:

  • 1884 — Abolitionist, writer, and activist Peter H. Clark becomes OSU’s first African American trustee. 
  • 1892 — Sherman Handlin becomes the first African American to graduate from Ohio State University (B.A., Liberal Arts).
  • 1893 — William Frederick Ebert becomes the first African American to graduate from Starling Loving Medical College, the predecessor to the OSU School of Medicine.
  •  1905 — Jessie Frances Stevens becomes the first African American to graduate from Ohio State University (B.A.).
  • 1908 — Alonzo Jessie Bowling becomes the earliest African American confirmed to have earned a Master’s degree at Ohio State University.
  • 1916 — Clarence Alphonso Lindsay, Rudolph Finley, and Charles Robert Lewis become the first African Americans to graduate from the OSU School of Medicine.
  • 1925 –Aletha Hebron Washington becomes the first African American woman to earn a Master’s degree at OSU (M.A.).
  • 1927 — Dr. Leon Ransom (Phi Beta Kappa) becomes the first African American to graduate from the OSU College of Law.
  • 1928 — Aletha Hebron Washington becomes the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at Ohio State (Ph.D., Education).
  • 1933 — Ruth Ella Moore becomes OSU’s (and the United States’) first African American to earn a Ph.D. and the United States’ first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Bacteriology.
  • 1936 — General Lamar Harrison becomes the first African American male to earn a Ph.D. at Ohio State (Ph.D., Education).
  • 1947 — Clotilde Dent Bowen becomes the first African American woman to graduate from OSU School of Medicine. She would go on to become the first Black female Physician in the U.S. Army and the first Black womanto attain the rank of Colonel.
  • 1949 — Ruth Harrison becomes OSU’s first Black office staff member (Political Science department).
  • 1956 — Emmett Bassett completes his doctorate to become the first African American in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in Dairy Technology. 
  • 1957 — George David Boston becomes OSU’s first tenured Black faculty member (Anatomy).
  • 1960 — Alivia Bozeman becomes OSU’s first tenured Black female faculty member (Education).
  • 1965 — Clarence William Wright becomes OSU’s first Black student to earn a Ph.D. in Anatomy.
  • 2001 — Oliver McGee becomes the first African American to be named a full professor and department chair at Ohio State’s College of Engineering.
  • 2005 — 29 year-old Gene Smith becomes OSU’s first Black athletic director.
  • 2006 — Valarie Justiss Vance becomes the first African American and the first woman inducted to The Ohio State University College of Social Work Alumni Hall of Fame.

moore_ruth_ella.jpg

Ruth Ella Moore, OSU’s first Black Ph.D.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

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Georgia Tech #1 for Black Engineers July 19, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in Academia, African American Students, Black Engineers, Black PhDs, Black Students, Blogroll, Engineering, Georgia Tech.
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More evidence to suggest that majority white colleges and universities are becoming more effective at education African American students:

Exduco.net reports that during the 2005 – 2006 school year Georgia Tech was the top producer of African American engineers in the United States, graduating 120 Black students from their undergrad engineering program. This figure represents a slight increase over the previous school year, when 117 African Americans completed bachelor’s degrees in this field.

During the same school year, Georgia Tech was also the number one producer of Black engineering Ph.D.s, with 11 Afrfican American students completing their doctorates, up from 4 during the previous year.

The Exduco.net article also lists the other top producers of Black engineers, at both the undergraduate and doctoral levels:

Other top five degree producers at the undergraduate level include North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Southern University and A&M College and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
[…]
Other top five producers of African-American doctoral engineering graduates include Morgan State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Florida and North Carolina A&T State University.

Georgia Tech faculty and administrators attribute their success at both recruiting and retaining African American engineers to strong co-curricular programs aimed at both drawing strong Black students to engineering and supporting those African Americans who pursue degrees in that field.

In particular, I would like to call attention to the FACES program (at http://www.faces.gatech.edu/2007/), which encourages undergraduate engineers to consider doctoral study and careers in academe, and the FOCUS program (http://www.focus.gatech.edu/friends/), which encourages high school students with and interest in math and science and undergraduates in engineering to pursue further study in this field.

Kudos to Georgia Tech! When it comes to Black students in engineering this institution definitely “gets it.” While pundits and think tanks debate the value of affirmative action and ethnic diversity as though Black college success is an as-yet unproven abstraction, universities like Georgia Tech proceed with a belief in the ability of all students to reach their academic goals.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Achievement Runs in the Family for Dartmouth Triplets July 19, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in African American Students, Ashley Henry, Black Students, Blogroll, Brittany Henry, Courtney Henry, Dartmouth College, triplets.
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Darthmouth Triplets

L to R: Brittany, Ashley, and Courtney Henry, Dartmouth Class of 2007 

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports:

For the first time in the school’s 238-year history, this June Dartmouth College graduated its first set of triplets. The three graduates are African-American sisters from San Diego, California.

Ashley, Brittany, and Courtney Henry, age 21, are identical triplets. They are graduates of a Seventh Day Adventist school in California where they shared honors as valedictorians.

All three girls will return to San Diego and take a year off before beginning professional school. Ashley, a history major, is going to medical school. Brittany, who majored in religion at Dartmouth, will enter law school. Courtney graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in American history. She plans on a career in dentistry.

The College marked this unique occasion by offering Olivia Willis-Henry, the triplets’ mother a choice seat from which to enjoy the commencement exercises, beside Susan Wright, wife of the current president of Dartmouth.

Prior to Dartmouth, Ashley, Brittany, and Courtney attended a small Seventh-Day Adventist high school where the three shared valecdictorian honors.

Diversity and the opportunity to broaden their experiences was an important factor in the Henry sisters’ decision to matriculate at Dartmouth. Said Brittany, “I just felt that, before coming to Dartmouth I had a very sheltered outlook. I was surrounded only by other Seventh Day Adventists and didn’t get to mingle with other groups.”

Ashley echoes this sentiment, explaining that, I feel it is important to be exposed to a lot of different outlooks, a lot of diversity, people of different ethnicities, different religions and socio-economic groups, “Dartmouth is a place that lets you do that. It would have been a lot easier on our mother if we stayed in California, but she wanted us to have the opportunity to receive the best academic and social education we could get.”

All three women look forward to returning to the San Diego area. Family is important to the Henry sisters, and they are happy to be moving closer to their mother, described as a speech pathologist who is divorced from their father.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Black Milestones in Higher Education: Hoosier Edition July 18, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in Academia, African American Students, African Americans, Black History, Black PhDs, Black Students, Blogroll, Higher Education, Indiana University, race.
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Hoosiers

History and Overview: The first students arrived on the campus of Indiana University in 1824. The first Black student to earn a degree from this institution graduated in 1895. Since then over 13,000 African Americans have graduated from IU.

As of fall 2006 IU enrolled 29,828 undergraduates and over 8500 graduate and professional degree students at it’s flagship campus in Bloomington, for a total enrollment of approximately 38,200. 1,699 of those students are Black.

Black Milestones at Indiana University:

  • 1893 — Preston Eagleson integrates IU athletics by becoming the first Black student to play sports for the University (football, 3 seasons).
  • 1895 — Marcellus Neal becomes the first African American student to graduate from Indiana University (B.A. in Mathematics).
  • 1906 — Preston Eagleson becomes the first African American to earn a master’s degree at IU (M.A., Philosophy).
  • 1911 — On the evening of January 5, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. (the nation’s second oldest African American fraternity) is founded by then Indiana University students Elder Watson Diggs; John Milton Lee; Byron K. Armstrong; Guy Levis Grant; Ezra D. Alexander; Henry T. Asher; Marcus P. Blakemore; Paul W. Caine; Edward G. Irvin and George W. Edmonds (the Reverend Founders).
  • 1919 — Frances Elizabeth Marshall becomes the first African American woman to graduate from Indiana University (B.A. in English).
  • 1947 — IU’s Bill Garrett becomes the Big Ten’s first African American basketball player.
  • 1959 — Richard Johnson becomes IU’s first tenured African American professor (Music). In the same year undergraduate Nancy Streets becomes the first African American “Miss IU.”
  • 1960 — Thomas Atkins becomes IU’s first Black Student Body President and the first African American in the Big Ten to hold that post.
  • 1981 — Edward High becomes the first African American president of the IU Alumni Association.
  • 1997 — Cora Smith Breckenridge becomes the first African American on the IU Board of Trustees.

Neal

Marcellus Neal and Frances Elizabeth Marshall,

the first African American man and the first African American

woman to graduate from IU

 

 

 

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Black Milestones in Higher Education, Wolverine Edition (Go Blue!) July 13, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in Academia, African American Students, African Americans, Ann Arbor, Black History, Black Students, Higher Education, race, University of Michigan.
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um

Introduction: This is the second post in a series of posts I’m writing to pay tribute to those African Americans whose pioneering presence on U.S. college campuses opened doors for subsequent generations of Black people.

As I compose the entries for this series I am struck over and over again by two things, 1) the high level of academic achievement of so many of Black America’s pioneering scholars, and 2) how many of these Black “firsts” have taken place during my lifetime. These observations lead me to two corresponding conclusions, 1) that African Americans have accomplished much more in U.S. higher education than we give ourselves credit for, and 2) that far too many institutions, departments, and graduate programs remain largely closed to Black participation, either intentionally or unintentionally.

By the way, if you are a Black “first” on your campus, in your department, etc., please let me know so that I can include you in this series (when your campus and/or alma mater comes up) and in my Black Milestones in Higher Education timeline at the Twilight and Reason website.

History and Overview: The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 near Detroit, on what the U of M Campus Information Centers describes as “1,920 acres of land ceded by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi people.” In 1837 the University of Michigan moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor where the 7 enrolled students were taught by 2 professors.

The University of Michigan enrolled its first Black students in 1868, two years before it would welcome women students onto the campus. At the time that Black students were first admitted, the University was experiencing unprecedented prosperity. Enrollment in 1867 had reach a historic high of 1255 students, taught by a faculty of 33.

Today the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has an undergraduate enrollment of 25,555 undergraduates , including 1,709 Black students. The current graduate enrollment is 14,470 graduate students, including 571 Black students. The U of M employs 2,891 tenured and tenure-track faculty,  of whom  146 are Black.

Timeline: Black Milestones at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • 1853 — Samuel Codes Watson becomes the first African American student to attend the University of Michigan.
  • 1870 — Gabriel F. Hargo becomes the first African American student to graduate from the University of Michigan. Hargo studied law and was a sargeant at arms in the Lincoln Debating Society. He earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • 1872 — William Henry Fitzbutler becomes the first African American to graduate from the U of M Medical School.
  • 1880 — Mary Henrietta Graham becomes the first Black woman to graduate from the U of M (Bachelor of Philosophy, Literature).
  • 1890 — Ida Gray graduates from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and in so doing becomes the United States’ first Black woman dental school graduate.
  • 1918 — Elmer Samuel Imes becomes the first African American at U of M (and only the second African American in the U.S.) to complete a Ph.D. in Physics.
  • 1925 — U of M students organize the Negro – Caucasion Club in order to improve race relations on and off campus.
  • 1949 — Marjorie Lee Browne earns a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the U of M, becoming one of the first two Black women to earn doctorates in this field, both in 1949 (the other is Evelyn Boyd Granville, at Yale University).
  • 1952 — Albert H. Wheeler joins the Michigan faculty as an assistant professor microbiology and immunology. Wheeler would go on to become the first Black professor to earn tenure at UM.
  • 1969 — Niara Sudarkasa (born Gloria Albertha Marshall) becomes the first African American appointed to the  faculty of the University of Michigan Department of Anthropology. She would go on to become the first African American woman to earn tenure at the U of M.
  • 1970 — Hon. Harry T. Edwards joins the faculty of Michigan Law School. He would eventually become the first African American law professor to earn tenure at U of M. In the same year, Michigan’s Center for Afroamerican and African Studies is established.
  • 1971 — The William Monroe Trotter House is founded as a Black student cultural center.
  • 1972 — Willie Hobbs Moore completes her Ph.D. in Physics at UM – Ann Arbor, becoming the first Black woman in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in that field. In 1958 Willie Hobbs Moore became the first Black woman to complete an undergraduate degree in Engineering at UM. In the same year, Henry Johnson becomes Michigan’s first African American administrator (Vice President for Student Services).
  • 2003 — On June 23 the U.S. Supreme Court rules that while diversity remains a “compelling interest” in higher education, the admissions system employed by U of M undergraduate admissions is unconstitutional. The Court upholds the whole-file review process used at the U of M Law School

Mary Henrietta Graham

Mary Henrietta Graham, Michigan’s first Black female graduate (Literature, 1880)

 

For Further Reading: Slater, Robert Bruce. “The First Black Faculty Members at the Nation’s Highest-Ranked Universities.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 22. (Winter, 1998-1999), pp. 97-106.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Black Milestones in Higher Education: Champaign-Urbana Edition July 12, 2007

Posted by twilightandreason in African American, African American Students, Black History, Black PhDs, Blogroll, Higher Education, race, University of Illinois.
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Fighting Illini

History and Overview: The University of Illinois, Champaign – Urbana first opened its doors to students in 1868 as the Illinois Industrial University. Renamed the University of Illinois in 1885, U of I is one of the 37 original land grant universities established by President Abraham Lincoln.

African Americans first entered the U of I campus as employees. Existing records show that the first Black worker at the University  was Mr. L.H. Walden, who was first employed as a maintenance worker for the Military Drill Hall and Men’s Gymnasium (now Kenney Gym) in 1880.  The first African American student arrived on campus seven years later. Black students enrolled and graduated at a trickle throughout the first half of the 20th century.

In March of this year, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education issued the following assesment of the current Black student population at U of I:

Blacks make up 6.6 percent of the 31,000-member undergraduate student body at the University of Illinois. But the black student graduation rate of 65 percent is 21 percentage points below the rate for white students.

U of I is a member of the Big 10 athletic conference, and it’s sports teams play under the name “The Fighting Illini,” a name that the University has been allowed to retain, though it has been prohibited by the NCAA from using the image of its former mascot Chief Illiniwek, an imaginary native American figure whose appearance at intercollegiate athletic events was banned by that governing body.

Timeline: Black Milestones at the U of I, Champaign – Urbana

  • 1887     Jonathan A. Rogan becomes the first African American to enroll at the U of I. 
  • 1900     William Walter Smith becomes the first African American student to graduate from the U of I (bachelor’s in Literature and Arts). He would go on to earn two more degrees from Illinois, a second bachelor’s degree in 1907 (B.S. in Civil Engineering), and a master’s in Civil Engineering in 1913.
  • 1904     Walter T. Bailey becomes the first African American to student to graduate from the University of Illinois School of Architecture (B.S. in Architectural Engineering).
  • 1916     St. Elmo Brady becomes the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the U of I and in the U.S.
  • Maudelle Tanner Brown becomes the first African American woman to graduate from the U of I, taking only 3 years to earn a bachelor’s in Mathematics, with honors.
  • 1936     Beverly Greene becomes the first African American woman to receive a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Illinois Schoool of Architecture. She would go on to receive a master’s degree in City Planning from the U of I.
  • 1969    Clarence A. Ellis completes the U of I doctoral program in Computer Science and becomes the first African American in the history of the U.S. to receive a Ph.D. in that field.
  • 1974     University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign establishes an African American Studies and Research Program.

William Walter Smith

William Walter Smith, the first African American

to graduate from the University of Illinois 

Posted by Ajuan Mance