Monument marks grave of 1st black woman to earn Yale degree

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(Credit: Evergreen Cemetery)

NEW HAVEN — The final resting place of the first African-American woman to receive a degree from Yale University is now marked by a monument detailing her life’s accomplishments.

The New Haven Register reports Helen Eugenia Hagan was buried in an unmarked grave in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery from her death in 1964 up until Thursday’s unveiling ceremony.

Thanks to a fundraising effort largely undertaken by author Elizabeth Foxwell, a grave marker made of India black granite now sits at the site.

Hagan graduated from the prestigious Ivy League university’s School of Music in 1912. She was the only black woman sent to Europe to entertain troops following World War I.

Foxwell, staff editor at the Catholic Historical Review, says the headstone is a testament to the effort to recognize Hagan’s contributions.