New Haven Black History: Mary Goodman's Gift
In 1872, the first gift to Yale University by a person of color was made by an African American businesswoman who had been born into slavery.
|Mary Goodman was buried in Grove Street cemetery after she left her life savings to Yale University, establishing a scholarship for African Amercian divinity students.|
Nineteenth Century Woman Is First Person of Color to Give to Yale
In 1872, the first gift to Yale University by a person of color was made by an African American businesswoman who had been born into slavery. Mary Goodman, who ran a laundry service in New Haven and attended College Street Church, left her entire life savings, nearly $5,000, to provide scholarships to black divinity students. Yale honored her gift by providing for her burial at Grove Street cemetery.
Goodman's gift had an immediate impact, being used to recruit the first black students to study theology at Yale. It also helped establish the divinity school as a center for social change.
"Mary Goodman's gift helped the Yale Theological Department (now the Divinity School) broaden its mission to include training clergy as leaders in communities being transformed by emancipation, immigration, and a widening gap between rich and poor in New Haven." (Yale Under God, Roberta Buckingham Mouheb, p.271)
|Higher Heights helps make sure that every New Haven student who wants a post-secondary education succeeds in attaining one.|
Learn about how New Haven's Higher Heights is helping minority students clear the hurdles to higher education.
Want to make a gift that lasts forever? Learn about the power of a bequest.