Breaking Boundaries: Mary H. Graham, first African American Woman
In 1880, a woman by the name of Mary Henrietta Graham graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in philosophy.1 She is understood to be the first African American woman to attend the University and obtain a degree. Not much information is on file for Graham, despite her incredibly important acheivement. In fact, older literature on the subject cites Dr. Viriginia Watts, a 1885 graduate of the Medical School, as the first black woman on campus.2
Each of these women broke barriors that had been seemingly impossible to break. Women were able to make it further within an institution still heavy with discrimination.
1. Ruth Bordin, Women at Michigan: The "Dangerous Experiment," 1870s to the Present (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), xxvii.
2. Dorothy McGuigan, A Dangerous Experiment: 100 Years of Women at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor: Center for Continuing Education of Women, 1970), 36.