Partner Mary P. Burrill
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027, Stati Uniti
Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059, Stati Uniti
1256 Kearny St NE, Washington, DC 20017, USA
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, 4001 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, Stati Uniti
Lucy Diggs Slowe (July 4, 1885 – October 21, 1937) was the first black woman to serve as Dean of Women at any American University and the first Dean of Women at Howard University. She was one of the original sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the first sorority founded by African-American women. She was one of the nine original founders of the sorority in 1908 at Howard University.
In 1922, Slowe was appointed the first Dean of Women at Howard University. She continued in that role at Howard for 15 years until her death. In addition, Slowe created and led two professional associations to support college administrators.
Slowe was also a tennis champion, winning the national title of the American Tennis Association's first tournament in 1917, the first African-American woman to win a major sports title.
Lucy Diggs Slowe was born in Berryville, Virginia to Henry Slowe and Fannie Porter Slowe. Her father was a hotel operator. After both her parents died when Lucy was young, she was raised by her aunt Martha Price in Lexington, Virginia. At thirteen, Lucy and her family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she attended the Baltimore Colored School, and graduated 2nd in her class from the Baltimore Colored High School. She graduated second in her class in 1904.
Slowe was the first person from her school to attend Howard University, the top historically black college in the nation, at a time when only 1/3 of 1% of African Americans and 5% of whites of eligible age attended any college.
Lucy Diggs Slowe was one of the nine original founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was instrumental in drafting the sorority's constitution. She also served as the chapter's first president.
After graduation in 1908, Slowe returned to Baltimore to teach English in high school. During the summers, she started studying at Columbia University in New York, where she earned her Masters of Arts degree in 1915.
After earning her M.A. she returned to Washington, DC to teach. Because the District was run as part of the Federal government, African American teachers in the public schools were paid on the same scale as European-Americans. The system attracted outstanding teachers, especially for Dunbar High School, the academic high school for African Americans. In 1919, the District of Columbia asked Lucy Slowe to create the first junior high school in its system for blacks and then appointed her principal. She led the school until 1922, creating the first integrated in-service training for junior high school teachers in the District.
In 1917, Slowe won the American Tennis Association's first tournament. She was the first African-American woman to win a major sports title.
In 1922, Howard University selected Lucy Slowe as the first Dean of Women. Slowe was the first African-American female to serve in that position anywhere. Slowe continued to serve as a college administrator at Howard for the rest of her career, another 15 years.
To pool resources, share knowledge, and build collaboration, Slowe founded both the National Association of College Women, which she led for several years as first president, and the Association of Advisors to Women in Colored Schools. She served as College Dean at Howard University until her death on October 21, 1937. Slowe is buried in the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.
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