Early College Women

The very first women admitted to Washington University entered the School of Law in 1869 - Lemma Barkeloo, who studied for a year and then passed the bar exam, and Phoebe Couzins, who received her LL.B. degree in 1871.

In the undergraduate program, Alice Mary Belcher paved the way as the first female college student, studying for one year in 1870. 

Mary Josephine Rychlicki and Ada Calista Fisher, who enrolled soon after, became the first women to earn undergraduate degrees at Washington University in 1876. 

Women not only attended, but excelled.  Edith Smith Kellenverger (class of 1882) was the University's first woman to graduate magna cum laude.  Jennie Rebecca Lippman followed in 1883 as the first Washington University woman to earn summa cum laude honors and election to Phi Beta Kappa.