Back to Home Page

The First Women Students
How Women Fared
A New Home
College Life: 1910-1919
Targets of Humor
Women's Space
For Women Only
Rites of Passage
Black Women at Pitt
The Twelfth Floor
The War Years
Women in Sports
Coming Into the 70's

The First Black Woman Enrolled at Pitt in 1906
Dr. Jean Hamilton Walls, the first black woman to receive a bachelor's degree (1910) was also the first to receive a Ph.D. (1938). Her dissertation was A Study of Seventy-Eight Negro Graduates of the University of Pittsburgh from 1920-1936.

Dr. Walls graduated from Allegheny High School in 1904 and majored in mathematics and physics at Pitt. She received a master's degree at Howard University in 1912 and taught at the Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore; the Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina; and the Fort Valley School in Georgia.

She returned to Pittsburgh to be executive director of the Centre Avenue branch of the Y.W.C.A. and then started work on her doctorate.

Excluded from campus organizations, with the exception of the Y.W.C.A.,black women formed their own clubs. In 1922, the women formed the Council of Negro College Women (C.N.C.W) to foster intellectual growth, leadership, and friendship among black women at the University of Pittsburgh. The C.N.C.W. also worked to broaden the vocational options of college educated black women. Their first event was The Vocational Conference for Colored Students.

The First Women | How Women Fared | A New Home | College Life | Targets of Humor | Women's Space | For Women Only
Rites of Passage | Black Women | The Twelfth Floor | The War Years | Women in Sports | Coming Into the 70's


Next: The War Years
Next: The Twelfth Floor

Jean Hamilton Walls


2003 University of Pittsburgh Office of the Provost

Pitt Home
Provost Web Site
Contact Us

Alpha Kappa Alpha, 1946

Delta Sigma Theta, 1946

Women in the College, Owl 1911. The first black woman to graduate from Pitt, Jean Hamilton Walls (B.A. '10)(left front), also became the first to receive a Ph.D. at Pitt in 1938.