| About | History

Firsts

1853
  • Samuel Codes Watson, medical student, is the first known African American student admitted to the university.
1857
  • William V. Snyder awarded the first Engineering degree.
1866
  • Alice Boise Wood is the first woman to attend classes (in Greek) as an unregistered student at U-M.
1870
  • Madelon Louisa Stockwell, is the first woman admitted to the university. She was also the first graduate to marry a classmate in 1872.
1871
  • Amanda Sanford becomes first alumna of U-M by graduating from the medical school
  • Sarah Killgore of Crawfordsville, Indiana, graduated with a law degree on the same day.
1872
  • Saiske Tagai is the first Asian student (Japanese) admitted to the University of Michigan.
1876
  • Mary Henrietta Graham, lit. 1880, is the first known African American woman admitted to the university.
1877
  • José Celso Barbosa becomes the first Puerto Rican student to enroll at U-M, and is an alumnus of the Department of Medicine and Surgery ’80.
1878
  • Grace Roberts becomes the first African American to earn a MD (Homeopathy).
1885
  • June Rose Colby is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. upon examination (She received graduate degrees in 1885 and 1886).
1887
  • Fred B. Pelha becomes the first African-American to earn Civil Engineering degree.
1890
  • Ida Gray becomes the first African American woman to graduate in dentistry.
1892
  • The First Chinese students, Mary Stone and Ida Kahn, are admitted to U-M.
1895
  • Marian Sarah Parker becomes the first woman to graduate with a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering.
1914
  • Suzan Rose Benedict is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics at U-M.
1918
  • Elmer Samuel Imes becomes the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in physics.
1958
  • Willie Hobbs Moore is the first African American woman to earn a degree in engineering.
1968
  • The first undergraduate male nursing students graduate. The first male completed the nursing graduate program in 1964.
1972
  • Willie Hobbs Moore becomes the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics.