1973: Dorothy M. Pearson became the first African-American to earn a PhD from the school
Dorothy Pearson (MSSW ’60, Ph.D. ‘73) found no shortage of challenges in her lifetime, but always met them with passion and perseverance. From her beginnings in the legally-segregated South, Pearson worked her way to becoming the first African-American to earn a PhD from the UW-Madison School of Social Work.
In 1975, Pearson joined the faculty at Howard University, where she established a doctoral program in social work. She retired from the university in 1999. After a distinguished career in social work practice and education, Pearson was designated a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers.