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UT News

Celebrating Women’s History Month

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Women’s History Month is a time to reflect and honor the many women who have made an impact on UT’s history. Our faculty, leaders and alumna represent many of the “firsts” in their fields, on campus and across the nation – from the first woman to graduate from UT to the first woman to helm the presidency at a major university in the U.S. Learn more and help us celebrate some of our incredible women Longhorns:

Twitter thread: Longhorn women are essential in breaking barriers and creating opportunities. Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay by learning about some of the women in the UT community who’ve changed the world

Some of Our Firsts

Ladies’ First
Read the story of Jessie Andrews, who, in 1886, became the first woman to graduate from UT, earning a Bachelor of Letters degree in German.

Lorene Lane Rogers
During her time as UT President from 1974-1979, Lorene Rogers, believed to be the first woman to lead a major university in the U.S., created the College of Liberal Arts and saw several major campus events, including the acquisition of the Gutenberg Bible.

Edith Clarke
When Edith Clarke, a renowned mathematician and engineer, joined the UT faculty in 1947, she became the first woman professor of electrical engineering in the U.S. and taught at the university until 1957.

Barbara Jordan – Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder
This UT Press book brings together major political speeches delivered by Barbara Jordan, who served as a faculty member at UT for nearly 20 years.

The First Female Drummer in the Longhorn Band, in Her Own Words
“The band was a family.” In this story in Texas Exes’ Alcalde magazine, alumna Leah Mabry, the first woman drummer in the Longhorn Band, reflects on her experiences.

Jeannie Leavitt
Alumna and Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt has many firsts in the U.S. Air Force: the first female fighter pilot, first female fighter aircraft weapons officer, first female fighter wing commander and first female commander of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Longhorn Makes History as 50th Woman in Space
Astronaut and alumna Karen Nyberg became the 50th woman to go into space and the first to operate what was then a new robotic arm on the space shuttle.

Alumna Adrienne Nelson Breaks Ground in Oregon
This year, Texas Law alumna Adrienne C. Nelson became the first Black female federal judge in the state of Oregon.

More Incredible Longhorn Women

Mother, Mentor, Mediator — The Contributions of Almetris “Mama” Duren
Learn about Almetris Marsh Duren, who served as housemother at the dormitory being opened for UT’s first Black women in 1956, and the impact she had on the many people she came across during her over two decades at UT.

Lady Bird Johnson
Former member of the UT System Board of Regents, former U.S. First Lady and two-time UT alumna donated 60 acres of land that would eventually become UT’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Kay Bailey Hutchison’s 2011 UT Commencement Address
UT alumna and former U.S. Senator is a longtime support of the university, including establishing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Energy Center for Business, Law and Policy.

Highlighting Women in the Legal Profession
Texas Law features 10 alumna who have had positive impacts in their various roles at law firms, in corporate settings, education, health care, government and more.

Lilia Raquel Rosas Honored for Research in Texas Women’s History
Presented by the Texas State Historical Association, the Ellen Clarke Temple Research Fellowship is awarded for research in the history of women in Texas.