Breaking Barriers

A Preliminary Study of the Agaves of the United States, With Some General Introductory Remarks Upon The Genus, Anna Isabel Mulford (Thesis - Ph.D., 1895), page 78

1895

A botany student, Anna Isabel Mulford is the first student, male or female, to earn a doctoral degree at Washington University. (Washington University - Henry Shaw School of Botany)  Full text of Mulford's thesis is available on-line via Google Books.

A Preliminary Study of the Agaves of the United States, With Some General Introductory Remarks Upon The Genus, Anna Isabel Mulford (Thesis - Ph.D., 1895), page 78.

La Confrerie Alongine – Architecture Association
"La Confrerie Alongine - Architecture Association" as pictured in Hatchet, 1917

 

 

1916

Mary Steinmesch is one of the first women to graduate from the School of Architecture (today a part of the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts). 

Not allowed in the men's architecture group, in 1915 she and three other women found La Confrerie Alongine.  In 1922, it became Alpha Alpha Gamma (the first women's architectural organization in the nation) and was reorganized in 1948 as the Association of Women in Architecture and the Allied Arts.

 

 

Business School, a first remembered
"Quietly Broken Ground,"
Business School News, Fall 1985

1920

After her parents' death, Margaret Haase took over the family business.  She is the first woman to enroll in, and graduate from, the School of Commerce and Finance (today the Olin School of Business).  As a student, she played intramural sports, was vice-president of the Women's Council, and became vice-president of the newly established Commerce Club.



 

American Society of Civil Engineers, group photo including Irma Amoratis , 1947

1943

During World War II women begin majoring in engineering.  One of them, Delphine Karsteiner, is elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  She is the first woman in the local W.U. chapter and one of only a few at the national level.  In 1947, her classmate, Irma Amoratis, is the first woman to graduate from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

American Society of Civil Engineers,
Amoratis pictured in second row
(Hatchet 1947, page 133)

George Warren Brown Hall, sketch
George Warren Brown Hall,
housing the School of Social Work

1948   

Leona Evans (MSW, 1949) and Ruth Greene Richardson (MSW, 1950) are among the first ten African-American students admitted to Washington University. In Spring 1948, the Brown School of Social Work is the first department on the Danforth campus to accept students without regard to race.