Douglass Firsts: Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons

an exhibit by Miya Carey

Douglass College was founded in 1918 and was originally known as the New Jersey College for Women (NJC). Although NJC admitted a handful of black students beginning in 1934, the college's residence halls were segregated. Black women were obliged to live off-campus and commute to school until Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons desegregated the dorms in 1946. This exhibit highlights the key players in the desegregation of NJC’s residence halls, black women's campus experiences, and the impact of this pivotal moment in NJC’s history.


Sources for this exhibit include photographs from Quair (the NJC/Douglass College yearbook), copies of which are housed at the Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives, and alumnae biographical files compiled and preserved by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.

Throughout this exhibit, you will see images of archival items and newspaper headlines. Click any image to learn more about the documents and access the full text of newspaper articles.

1949-06-07 Award for First Negroes Living on NJC Campus - Central New Jersey Home News-headline.jpg