Irma Etta Loud Sephas

In 1956, forty-one-year-old Irma Etta Loud Sephas (1914–1991) began attending classes at North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas), becoming the first African-American undergraduate student at that school. She drove forty miles each way from Fort Worth, Texas, to Denton to attend college, carried a 15-hour course load (with a major in business and a minor in music), managed two home businesses (bookkeeping and teaching piano), and took care of her disabled father, a retired Methodist minister, who shared the home with Irma, her husband, and their three-year-old daughter. The college enrolled her as a sophomore, giving her credit for courses she had taken in the 1930s at Huston College in Austin. (To see an image of Irma, click on the Related Sites link below.)

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