Alberta Virginia Scott

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Portrait of Alberta Virginia Scott, ca. 1898. (15123985526)

Alberta Virginia Scott (c. 1875 — August 30, 1902) was an American educator. She was the first African-American graduate of Radcliffe College, in 1898.

Early life[edit]

Alberta Virginia Scott was born near Richmond, Virginia,[1] and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her family moved when she was a little girl. Her family were members of the historic Union Baptist Church in Cambridge.[2] Alberta attended Allston School (finishing in 1889)[3] and then Cambridge Latin School, graduating with the class of 1894.[4]

In 1898, Alberta Virginia Scott became the first African-American graduate of Radcliffe College.[5][6]


Alberta Scott planned for a career in teaching.[7] She taught in Indianapolis and, briefly, at Tuskegee Institute after graduating from Radcliffe.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Alberta Scott died in 1902, in Cambridge, aged 26 years.[9] "Her death cuts off what should have been a useful and creditable life of work among those of her race," concluded the obituary in a Cambridge newspaper.[8]

There is a placard about Alberta V. Scott in Cambridge, placed by the Cambridge African American History Project in 1993.[10] The Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW) offers an Alberta V. Scott Mentorship Program, named in her honor.[11]


  1. ^ "Harvard's Negro Graduate" The Dighton Herald (August 18, 1898): 3. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  2. ^ Church History, Union Baptist Church of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  3. ^ "Our Public Schools" Cambridge Press (June 29, 1889): 2.
  4. ^ "The Valedictory" Cambridge Tribune (June 30, 1894): 7.
  5. ^ "Alberta Virginia Scott, Class of 1898" photograph in the collection of the Schlesinger Library.
  6. ^ Kris Snibbe, "A Window into African-American History" Harvard Gazette (February 4, 2011).
  7. ^ "Colored Graduate" Kansas City Journal (July 3, 1898): 15. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  8. ^ a b "Colored Teacher Dead" Cambridge Chronicle (September 6, 1902): 6.
  9. ^ "Deaths" Cambridge Tribune (September 6, 1902): 8.
  10. ^ Cambridge Office of Tourism, Alberta V. Scott placard.
  11. ^ Association of Black Harvard Women, About: History.