Paving the way

Timeline created by pnwalker
In History
  • Myrtie Sheppard

    Myrtie Sheppard
    Myrtie Sheppard was the first African-American female to graduate from Western Michigan University. Sheppard graduated in 1910 with a degree in the Rural Department.(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Sam Dunlap

    Sam Dunlap
    Sam Dunlap, also known as "The Black Ghost",was Western Michigan University's first black student-athlete. The Benton Harbor high school football star came to what was then Western State Normal School in 1915. Dunlap fought racism while breaking many school records, he held the record for most touchdowns scored in a single season for 98 years. Dunlap is a member of Western Michigan University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Oscar Mitchem

    Oscar Mitchem
    Oscar Mitchem was the first African-American member of the University’s marching band in 1917. Mitchem was the first African-American to graduate from Western Michigan University(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Merze Tate

    Merze Tate
    Merze Tate was the first African-American graduate of what was then known as Western Michigans Teacher College. Tate graduated with all A’s and three B’s, the school’s highest academic record at that time, Tate was WMU’s first African American to receive a bachelors degree in 1984,Western opened The Merze Tate Center for Research and School Reform, a research center in Sangren Hall that helps support the College of Education faculty and graduate students(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha chartered

    Alpha Phi Alpha chartered
    Alpha Phi Alpha was the first African-American fraternity to be charted at WMU. The fraternity began as the Beta Iota chapter in 1935, but was recharged in 1962 as the Epsilon XI chapter. Alpha Phi Alpha values knowledge, achievement,service,intregrity, quality,honor,excellence, and community(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Billie Brady

    Billie Brady
    Billie Brady appeared in Westerns first desegregated play, "Deep are the Roots," in 1947.This was the first time a play at WMU included black and white actors(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Delta Sigma Theta

    Delta Sigma Theta
    Delta Sigma Theta was the first historically African American sorority to be chartered on the Campus of Western Michigan University. The sorority values Sisterhood, scholarship, and service. The Delta Upsilon chapter was chartered in 1953(Photo via WMU Archives)
  • Elson S. Floyd

    Elson S. Floyd
    Elson S. Floyd was the sixth president of Western Michigan University. Floyd was WMU's first African-American president. During his five years of presidency, Floyd established a new campus for the university's engineering school along with the Business Technology and Research Park. Floyd Hall, the building that houses the University's engineering college, was named after Floyd following his death in June 2015 of Colon Cancer(Photo via google images)