Active in student life

When Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons started at NJC in 1945, there were no other known black students on campus. A couple more enrolled during their time at the institution, but Andrews and Sermons were two of a very small handful. They were, without a doubt, in the minority. Yet, despite the isolation that being the minority can breed, both Andrews and Sermons were active on campus.

As a chemistry major, Emma Andrews was elected to the Curie Science Club and served as Secretary of her class.

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Emma Andrews (left) with fellow senior class officers Margaret Wooge (center) and Anita Panitch (right), 1949 Quair yearbook

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Emma Andrews's biographical note in the 1949 Quair yearbook

Evelyn Sermons received the Chi Omega prize for her work as a sociology major and was on the board of the HEPS (History, Economics, Political Science and Social Science) club and a member of the choir.

1947 Quair page 111 Evelyn Sermons singing in choir.jpg

Evelyn Sermons (second row from the front, on the right) singing with the choir, 1947 Quair yearbook

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Evelyn Sermons's biographical note in the 1949 Quair yearbook

Their participation in these extracurricular activities as members and elected leaders suggests that, even if they faced instances of discrimination on campus, they were generally liked and accepted by their peers, and sought to carve out a space for themselves as NJC women.