Celebrating UT Women in History

March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the achievements of important women figures throughout history. 

Story by Jacqueline Briddell

While the achievements of figures in America and all over the world are important, ORANGE has decided to highlight the milestones of some women of the awesome women who have changed the dynamic on the Forty Acres.

 

Jessie "Miss Jessie" Andrews

  Photo courtesy of Austin History Center

Photo courtesy of Austin History Center

The University of Texas at Austin first opened its doors in 1883 to white men and women seeking a higher education. Jessie “Miss Jessie” Andrews was the first female student to graduate from UT in 1886, only three years after the university first opened its doors. Two years later, she became the university’s first female instructor and taught in the Department of German. Some may recall her name from Andrews Residence Hall, which was named after her in recognition of her achievements on the Forty Acres.

 

Cora Eiland Hicks and Harriett M. Murphy

  Photo courtesy of the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

Photo courtesy of the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

In 1953, Cora Eiland Hicks became the first African American woman to hold a position higher than a clerk on the Forty Acres and in the late 1960s, Harriett M. Murphy was one of the first African American women to attend and graduate the university’s law school. Years later, she was appointed to serve as the first African American woman on the City of Austin’s Municipal Court.

 

Edna Rhambo

  Photo courtesy of the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

Photo courtesy of the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

In 1956, integration at UT brought a flow of newly admitted African American undergraduate students to the university, now referred to as the Precursors. Among this group was Edna Rhambo, who shared her story about integration at the Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Enrollment of the Precursors last fall.

 

Lorene Lane Rogers

  Photo courtesy of the Office of the President

Photo courtesy of the Office of the President

In the 1970s, Lorene Lane Rogers served as the university’s first and only woman president to date. Rogers was the first woman president of any public university in the United States. She is said to have played a role in creating the College of Liberal Arts, which is now home to over 10,000 students.

 

Dr. Michelle Addington

  Photo courtesy of Yale University

Photo courtesy of Yale University

Dr. Michelle Addington was recently appointed as the first female dean of the School of Architecture since the school’s founding over a decade ago. She will replace Elizabeth Danze in July, who has served as interim dean since last summer.

 

Alejandrina Guzman

  Photo courtesy of The Daily Texan

Photo courtesy of The Daily Texan

Last but not least, in a more recent historical milestone for women on UT’s campus, Alejandrina Guzman was elected the university's first Latina, physically differently-abled student body president. She will serve during the 2017-2018 school year.