Syracuse University

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Women Students

Women students have always had a place at SU.

Women students have always had a place at Syracuse University—even as far back as 1857, when Belva Ann Lockwood graduated from Genesee College, SU’s first campus, and became a teacher. The equal rights activist went on to law school and made her indelible mark on American history as the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court. And she ran for president, nominated by the Equal Rights Party.

Because of SU’s policy of championing higher education for women—practically unheard of at the time—Sarah Loguen, the daughter of an escaped slave, graduated from SU’s College of Medicine in 1876, becoming one of the first African American women in the U.S. to be certified as a medical doctor.

Throughout the years, many notable women have received degrees from Syracuse University, including National Women’s Hall of Fame inductees Lockwood; Ruth Johnson Colvin ’59, H’84; the Reverend Betty Bone Schiess G’47; Eileen Collins ’78, H’01; Karen DeCrow L’72; Donna Shalala, G’70, H’87; and Kathrine V. Switzer ’68, G’72.