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Olivia A. Scriven

mathematician, educator, college administrator, and mentor to hundreds of black women in science, was born Etta Zuber in Tupelo, Mississippi, the younger of two girls of Walter A. Zuber, a physician, and Zadie L. Montgomery Zuber, a musician. The Zubers were part of a small, black middle class that chose to stay in economically devastated Tupelo during the Depression era. The Zubers' social standing, however, provided little insulation from the closed society that was characteristic of Jim Crow-era Mississippi. Etta attended segregated public schools. She graduated from George Washington High School in 1949 at the age of fifteen and left the security of her home to attend the all black Fisk University in Nashville Tennessee Young Etta had intended to major in chemistry and become a public school teacher But by her sophomore year she had decided that she liked mathematics better ...


Robert M. Dixon

physicist, science and engineering administrator, and college president, was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the first of two sons born to Almar C. Massey, a manual laborer for the Hercules Chemical Company, and Essie Nelson, an elementary school teacher and principal. Massey received support and encouragement not only from his parents but also from a cadre of excellent African American teachers, who, as a resolt of restricted employment opportunities in rigidly segregated Mississippi, pursued teaching with passion and dedication. Massey attended the Sixteenth Section Elementary School in Hattiesburg, where his mother taught, and the Royal Street High School in the same city. He excelled in school and entered Atlanta's Morehouse College on a Ford Foundation scholarship after completing the tenth grade. As a student at Morehouse, Massey, like Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American men who attended the college between 1940 and 1967 ...