Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Women in STEM
Women in STEM
Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Birth:  September 11, 1890

Death: July 25, 1980

Specialty: Mathematics

Major Contributions:

First African-American women to earn a doctorate in mathematics

Public School Teacher for 47 years

Papal medal for work in Catholic Church

Image Courtesy of Catholic University of America

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes was born in Washington DC in 1890 and served the city and its people for most of her life. After earning a BA from Smith College in mathematics she began her long teaching career in the public school system in DC. During her time there she taught at various schools and grade levels including first grade, high school mathematics, and English.

She continued her own education as well, earning a master’s degree in education from the University of Chicago in 1930, before becoming the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics, which she received from Catholic University in 1943.

After forty seven years working as an educator in the DC public school system she retired in 1959, but she continued to be involved in the education of the citizens of the District of Columbia. She also continued to serve the DC Public School System this time on the city’s board of education serving part of the time as its first female president and was considered integral to the integration efforts of DC public schools. Haynes established the mathematics department at Miner Teachers College and served as the chair of the division on mathematics and business education at District of Columbia Teachers College.

Dr. Haynes was also extremely active in the Catholic church including serving on the committee of International Social Welfare and the Executive Committee of the National Social Welfare Assembly, and  being the first vice president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. She was a member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and a co-founder of the Catholic Interracial Council of the District of Columbia.  In honor of her work within the church she was awarded a papal medal, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, in 1959. She was also a member of League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women, and the NAACP.

At the time of her death in 1980 she donated a large sum as a trust that established a scholarship fund and professional departmental chair in the school of education at Catholic University of America which also houses a collection of her papers.

Written by Angela Goad


Black Women in Mathematics: Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes, first African-American woman mathematician Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes, a Leader in Education, Community, and the Church

See Also:

Haynes-Lofton Family (American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives)