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Michigan State University

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The college first admitted women in 1870, although at that time there were no female residence halls. The few women who enrolled boarded with faculty families or made the arduous stagecoach trek from Lansing. From the early days, female students took the same rigorous scientific agriculture courses as male students. In 1896, the faculty created a "Women Course" that melded a home economics curriculum with liberal arts and sciences. That same year, the College turned the Abbot Hall male dorm into a women's dormitory. It was not until 1899 that the State Agricultural College admitted its first African American student, William O. Thompson. After graduation, he taught at what is now Tuskegee University. President Jonathan L. Snyder invited its president Booker T. Washington to be the Class of 1900 commencement speaker. A few years later, Myrtle Craig became the first woman African-American student to enroll at the College. Along with the Class of 1907, she received her degree from U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt, commencement speaker for the Semi-Centennial celebration. The City of East Lansing was incorporated the same year, and two years later the college changed its name to Michigan Agricultural College (M. A. C. ).



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