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First Blacks of Emory

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The First Blacks

  • Dr. William C. Hunter, the first African-American faculty member in the Goizueta Business School. He most recently served as Dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa from 2006-2012. During his career, he received a Career Achievement Award from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (1992) and the President's Award for Excellence from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (1999). 
  • Verdelle Bellamy, one of Emory’s first two African-American nursing students. In 1974, Bellamy became the first African American to receive a gubernatorial appointment to the Georgia Board of Nursing from then-Governor Jimmy Carter; in 1978, she became the first African American president of that board. In 1993, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing, the equivalent of a nursing hall of fame. She retired as associate chief of the Nursing Service for Geriatrics at the VA Medical Center in 1998.
  • Allie Saxon, one of Emory’s first two African-American nursing graduates. After earning her Emory degree, Saxon joined the faculty at Winston-Salem State College in North Carolina, which had a training agreement with Grady Hospital. She later moved to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Atlanta and then became a contractor representative for Medicare
  • Dr. Asa Yancey, the first African-American doctor at Grady Hospital. He developed the first surgical residency program for African-American physicians in the state of eorgia. In 1973, Yancey was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Asa G. Yancey Health Center, part of the Grady Healthcare System, honors him and is located in northwest Atlanta.
  • Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop, the first African American woman to attend in Emory’s School of Medicine earning an MD in 1972; and is today at the forefront of developmental disabilities research. As director of the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Yeargin-Allsopp’s path breaking research recently earned her the Arnold J. Capute Award, sponsored by the Council on Children with Disabilities, recognizing “a physician who has made notable contributions to the health and well-being of children with disabilities through service and/or advocacy at the local, state, or national level.” Her findings have been used in a variety of ways, including providing a basis for the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all infants undergo a hearing screening. A growing network of eleven surveillance sites is implementing her methods across the country.

The First Blacks of Emory project was curated and researched by Kevin Satterfield (‘15C) in collaboration with Dr. Pellom McDaniels III of the African American Studies department and MARBL (Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library). EBSU is extremely grateful for their selfless contributions to our space through research. 

We salute the individuals above and many others.  *As information becomes available we will update our records.  Please contact EBSU Co-Advisor, Marlon Gibson at with any questions, updates, or concerns.