Diversity Timeline 1910s


George Nitzsche

Saturday, January 1, 1910

George Nitzsche, Penn's first director of publicity, created a recruiting brochure, translated into Spanish. Approximately 10,000 copies circulated throughout Latin America over the next two years. One newspaper article called Nitzsche, "a foster father to students from foreign countries."

The Cosmopolitan Club started the year off in a new house on 3419 Walnut St. They held an opening 'smoker,' with students from 40 nations represented, as they were formally welcomed to the University. Vice Provost Edgar F. Smith delivered a speech on the University of Pennsylvania as he sought to "bring together students of different countries and break down misunderstandings existing between them."

School of Education

Thursday, January 1, 1914

The School of Education was founded and the first to offer a modern, full-time, four-year, undergraduate, professional degree to women. In the same year, the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine admitted women for the first time.

Saturday, January 1, 1916

George E. Nitzsche wrote, "The medical school, from its inception has always attracted students from many parts of the world."

Potts Mansion

Monday, January 1, 1917

The Christian Association (CA) of the University of Pennsylvania purchased property at 3905 Spruce Street from the heirs of Joseph Potts. The house opened January 1, 1918, as a home for foreign students.

Sadie Alexander

Tuesday, January 1, 1918

Philadelphia's International Students House opened.

As captain of the cross country team Willis Nelson Cummings was the first African American captain of an Ivy League sports team. The following year Cummings graduated from the dental school ranked sixth in his class of 259 students.

The Gamma Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority was established at Penn, the first African American sorority.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in Education. Mrs. Alexander continued her education at Penn earning a Ph.D. in Economics (1918) and J.D. from the Law School (1927). Mrs. Alexander was one of the first two African American women in the nation to receive a Ph.D. and the first to do so in economics. At Penn Law she was the first African American woman to graduate and the first admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar.

Wednesday, January 1, 1919

The Graduate School of Medicine was founded.