Good to see the semi-centennial of the integration of Duke’s undergraduate program being celebrated. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the broader Duke context, and I look forward to following remotely. Till now I only knew of the pioneering integrators of the medical school. For instance, Dr. Delano Meriwether, who was the first black student at Duke Medical School. He subsequently became the fastest man alive (100 yards) at the time. After which he directed the United States Public Health Service’s National Influenza Immunization Program, before proceeding to run a high-volume clinic in a remote region of South Africa. Also note Dr. Joanne A. Peebles Wilson, who was the second African-American woman to graduate from Duke Medical School, the second woman to attain the rank of full professor in the Duke Department of Medicine, and the first woman to serve as secretary of the American Gastroenterological Association. She finished as number one in her medical school class, was nominated to Alpha Omega Alpha academic honor society, and was elected class president. Space limitation precludes a comprehensive listing of early pioneers, several of whom are still at Duke, and whose contributions and accomplishments I hope the commemorations of 2013 will highlight.
Stephen Odaibo, M.S. ‘09, M.D. ‘10