Yale Honors the First Seven Women to Earn Ph.Ds at the University

Charlotte Roberts

Charlotte Roberts

Yale University recently honored the first women to earn Ph.D.s at the educational institution by unveiling portraits of the scholars that will be permanently displayed on campus. The women all earned their doctoral degree in 1894.

Paula Kavathas, professor of laboratory medicine and immunobiology and chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum at Yale, observes that “the seven women we are honoring were truly pioneers. What is remarkable is that all seven continued scholarly work after they graduated during a period in history when women could not even vote. Five joined the faculty at women’s colleges: Smith (Elizabeth Hanscom, Mary Scott), Vassar (Cornelia Rogers, Laura Wylie), and Wellesley (Charlotte Roberts). Margaretta Palmer worked at the Yale Observatory as an astronomer, and Sara Rogers was a political scientist and writer of fiction. These women rose to the height of intellectual scholarship with their accomplishments. We hope that they will be an inspiration for young scholars today.”

Laura Wexler, professor of American studies and professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, added that “these were determined, questing women, studying foreign languages, familiarizing themselves and their students with new literatures, charting the stars. Neither male chauvinism nor hard work scared them off.”

Filed Under: AwardsWomen's Studies


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