First Minority Graduates and Attendees

Overall University Firsts

1853 - Samuel Codes Watson, medical student, is the first known African American student admitted to the university. 1

1857 - William V. Snyder was awarded the first Engineering degree. 2

1866 - Alice Boise Wood is the first woman to attend classes (in Greek) as an unregistered student at UM. 3

1870 - Madelon Louisa Stockwell, lit. 1872, is the first woman admitted to the university. She was also the first graduate to marry a classmate in 1872. 4

1871 - Amanda Sanford becomes first alumna of UM by graduating from the medical school, Sarah Killgore of Crawfordsville, Indiana graduated with a law degree on the same day. 5

1872 - First Asian student (Japanese) is admitted to UM, Saiske Tagai, literature. 6

1876 - Mary Henrietta Graham, lit. 1880, is the first known African American woman admitted to the university. 7

1877 - First Puerto Rican student enrolls, Department of Medicine and Surgery '80, José Celso Barbosa. 8

1885 - June Rose Colby is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. upon examination (She received graduate degrees in 1885 and 1886). 9

1892 - First Chinese students admitted to UM, Mary Stone and Ida Kahn. 10

By Department

Dentistry

1890 - Ida Gray becomes the first African American woman to graduate in dentistry. 11

Engineering

1857 - William V. Snyder was awarded the first Engineering degree. 2

1887 - The first African-American Civil Engineering graduate was Fred B. Pelham. 12

1895 - Marian Sarah Parker becomes the first woman to graduate with a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering. 13

1958 - First African American woman to graduate in engineering, Willie Hobbs Moore. 14

Literature

1870 - Madelon Louisa Stockwell, lit. 1872, is the first woman admitted to the university. She was also the first graduate to marry a classmate in 1872. 4

1872 - First Asian student (Japanese) is admitted to UM, Saiske Tagai, literature. 6

1876 - Mary Henrietta Graham, lit. 1880, is the first known African American woman admitted to the university. 7

Mathematics

1914 - Suzan Rose Benedict was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics at UM. 15

Medicine

1853 - Samuel Codes Watson, medical student, is the first known African American student admitted to the university. 1

1871 - Amanda Sanford becomes first alumna of UM by graduating from the medical school, Sarah Killgore of Crawfordsville, Indiana graduated with a law degree on the same day. 5

1877 - First Puerto Rican student enrolls, Department of Medicine and Surgery '80, José Celso Barbosa. 8

1878 - First African American to receive MD (Homeopathy), Grace Roberts. 16

1896 - First Chinese students to earn medical degrees, Mary Stone and Ida Kahn. 10

Nursing

1968 - First male undergraduate nursing students graduate. The first male completed the nursing graduate program in 1964. 17

Physics

1918 - First African American to earn a Ph.D. in physics, Elmer Samuel Imes. 18

1972 - First African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics, Willie Hobbs Moore. 19

Disclaimer

The sources most frequently consulted for the timeline include The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey and The Proceedings of the Board of Regents. If any of the listed events on this page seem to be incorrect, or if you think an event should be added, please send the new information to the Bentley Reference Staff and provide citations for the sources where the new information was found.

Sources

All citations were taken from The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey Unless otherwise noted with a footnote below:

1. Calkins, Laura. "Samuel Codes Watson." Michigan History, Vol. 86 No. 1, Jan/Feb 2002, 48-52.

2. Engineering Dept. webpage: http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/cee/prospective/

3. "Chronology prepared by Justice Olderman, 1837-1994"

4. The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, and A Book of Days: 150 Years of Student Life at Michigan. [researched and compiled by Nancy R. Bartlett, Kathleen A. Koehler ; edited by Noreen Ferris Wolcott ; designed by Kathleen S. Horn]. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, c1987

5. Medical School Timeline: http://msweb.med.umich.edu/sesqui/timeline/1848-1873.htm, and The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey

6. Alumni Catalogue: Catalogue of Graduates, Non-Graduates, Officers, and Members of the Faculties, 1837-1921." Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1923, "History of Diversity at the University of Michigan: Important Dates and Events," January 12, 1999, and "UM - International History: An Outline."

7. University of Michigan Daybook: http://bentley.umich.edu/exhibits/daybook/daybook_search.php?id=9, A Book of Days: 150 Years of Student Life at Michigan. [researched and compiled by Nancy R. Bartlett, Kathleen A. Koehler ; edited by Noreen Ferris Wolcott ; designed by Kathleen S. Horn]. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, c1987, and The Proceedings of the Board of Regents.

8. "History of Diversity at the University of Michigan" (see no. 6)

9. Rackham Chronicle of Graduate Education: http://www.rackham.umich.edu/History/chron.html, and The Proceedings of the Board of Regents.

10. "History of Diversity at the University of Michigan" (see no. 6), and Kahn and Stone online exhibit: The University of Michigan and China: 1845-2006

11. The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, and "Chronology prepared by Justice Olderman, 1837-1994," and "Early Diversity in the Health Sciences at the University of Michigan": http://www.si.umich.edu/HCHS/Retrospex/RetroV1N2/retro1.2a.html

12 Engineering Dept. webpage: http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/cee/prospective/

13. Engineering Dept. webpage: http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/cee/prospective/

14. Engineering Timeline of Achievements: http://www.engin.umich.edu/150th/timeline01.html

15. Suzan Rose Benedict: http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/benedict.htm

16. "History of Diversity at the University of Michigan" (see no. 6), and The Proceedings of the Board of Regents.

17. "Early Diversity in the Health Sciences at the University of Michigan": http://www.si.umich.edu/HCHS/Retrospex/RetroV1N2/retro1.2a.html, and "UM Nursing in the News": http://www.med.umich.edu/nursing/newsarchive.htm

18. UM News release, March 8, 2004, and "A Celebration of Pioneering African Americans in Physics: From Imes to Moore at the University of Michigan": http://www.physics.lsa.umich.edu/nea/special/imesmoore.asp

19. UM News release, March 8, 2004, and "A Celebration of Pioneering African Americans in Physics: From Imes to Moore at the University of Michigan": http://www.physics.lsa.umich.edu/nea/special/imesmoore.asp