Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Wordless Wednesday: Black Students at Yale Medical School, 1895

December 9th, 2008 by Ajuan Mance

Yale Medical students photographed in 1895. The photo includes Black students Arthur Leslie Howard and William Fletcher Penn, who would graduate in 1897.

(Source: Yale and Medicine, 1701 – 1901)

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in Uncategorized

19 Responses

  1. Clnmike

    Were they the first?

  2. Stan

    I’m endlessly fascinated at how old photos capture the essence of history because they bring life to the people who made the history.

  3. Ajuan Mance

    In fact, the first African American to graduate from Yale Medical School was Courtlandt Van Rensselaer Creed, M.D. He was also the first African American to earn a degree from Yale University and the first African American to get a degree from any of the colleges that eventually came to comprise the Ivy League.

    You can read an interesting article on his legacy and his descendants at this link:

  4. Yen

    Nice to know! Great historical shot!

  5. Miss

    I was looking forward to your WW! Didn’t disappoint!

  6. Sreisaat

    I come here for the WW and leave with great historical information. Thanks for always sharing.

  7. Enith

    oh wow, thanks for the education. great shot too 🙂

    happy ww

  8. June

    How about that! Always enjoy your bits of history and the photos that go with them…

  9. race

    wow! this picture is already a history, nice shot!

  10. race

    I’m always sentimental about old photos, it’s priceless!

  11. Nicole

    Great find! I had no idea!

  12. DNLee

    Great find, as usual.I love your photo essay history lessons. It is so inspiring and makes me proud to see these Black students and professionals from such a discriminating time take education seriously. Now, many of our young people today are proud of being illiterate and un-educated. What a shame.

    happy ww.

  13. Daddy Forever

    Interesting piece of history. I wonder when did the first Asian graduate from Yale Medical School.

  14. Mojo

    Another little known bit of history. I never visit here that I don’t learn something.

  15. Ajuan Mance

    Thanks to all of you for dropping in for my Wordless Wednesday post! I’m so glad to see so many return visitors.

    Daddy Forever, thanks for asking about the first Asian graduate from Yale Medical school. The first Chinese student to graduate from Yale’s undergraduate program predated the first African American (Edward Bouchet) by about 20 years.

    According to Yale’s alumni magazine, that graduate was Yung Wing. He was also the first Chinese student to graduate from an American college or university.

    You can read more about him at this link:

  16. Gabriel

    I love this vintage pictures. They’re really interesting! 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by, I hope you had a great WW day!

  17. Clnmike

    Thanks for the info.

  18. Erica

    Wow that’s awesome. Love the old photo and I appreciate the history. 😉

  19. gnewgie

    just found out that William F Penn family is related to me, how wonderful it is to put a face to his name, great pic!