Female Physicians

Thursday, February 23, 1871

Commencement exercises for the Woman’s Hospital and Medical College are held at the Clark Street Methodist Church.  The three women in the graduating class receive their M.D. diplomas from trustee Erastus O. Haven, President of Northwestern University.  Haven explains that the Woman’s Hospital and Medical College was organized when the Chicago Medical College refused to admit women.  “Any human being has a native right to all the pure knowledge that he or she may desire and is able to acquire,” he declares.  “There are women who desire to study medicine.  To forbid them would be an impertinence and a tyranny.  To aid them would be reasonable and right.”  Haven closes with an appeal for financial contributions.