Harvard University’s First Woman Faculty Member Honored With a Statue

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has recently unveiled a statue of Alice Hamiltonthe first woman to serve as a faculty member at Harvard University.

Hamilton was named an assistant professor of industrial medicine in 1919. However, she was subject to three restrictions because she was a woman. She was not allowed in the faculty club, could not participate in processions during commencement, and was not eligible for faculty tickets to football games.

Hamilton’s career was dedicated to social justice, pacifism, and women’s rights. Her first role in education was teaching pathology at the Women’s Medical School of Northwestern University in Chicago. While at Harvard, she studied the toxic effects of lead and mercury exposure in manufacturing, which contributed to government reforms to improve the health of workers.

Sculptor Robert Shure said of his work on the statue at Harvard, “I hope viewers can stop before it and learn of her achievements in public health, education, science, and humanity. My intention is that viewers will follow in her footsteps.”

Alice Hamilton died in 1970 at the age of 101. She held a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and studied medicine at the University of Michigan and in Germany.

Filed Under: Awards


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