Timeline: The Beginnings

Ellen Henrietta Swallow

Ellen Henrietta Swallow, circa 1860.

  • 1861 - MIT founded

  • 1865 - MIT classes begin

  • 1865 - Margaret Stinson, first woman staff member at MIT, hired to run the chemistry laboratory’s supply room

  • 1873 - Ellen Swallow Richards (SB V) MIT’s first woman graduate

  • 1876 - Woman's Laboratory opens with funding from the Women's Educational Association

  • 1883 - Women students are officially allowed to enroll in all courses at MIT, including labs. Woman's Laboratory closes.

  • 1885 - Marcella O’Grady (SB VII), first woman to earn an SB in Natural History

  • 1889 - Caroline Woodman (SB VII), first woman to earn an SB in Biology

  • 1899 - MIT Women's Association (later Association of MIT Alumnae) is founded

Margaret E. Stinson

Margaret E. Stinson, undated.

Marcella O'Grady

Marcella O'Grady, undated.

women's association

Page from "Technology Women," a publication by the MIT Women's Association, 1916.