Black History Month Woman of the Day: Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes


Dr. Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) devoted her life to education and mathematics. Her love for the subject made her the first African American woman to gain a Ph.D in math. Euphemia received her B.A. in Mathematics in 1914 from Smith College and earned her masters in education in 1930 from the University of Chicago. She continued in her studies at the Catholic University and in 1943 earned her Ph.D. Her dissertation on “The Determination of Sets of Independent Conditions Characterizing Certain Special Cases of Symmetric Correspondences” was written under the supervision of Professor Aubrey Landrey.

Haynes taught math in Washington D.C. for 47 years and established the mathematics department and served as chair of the Division of Mathematics and Business Education at Miner Teachers College. She played a huge role in the integration of D.C. public schools by serving as the first woman to chair the District of Columbia School Board.

In 1980, Euphemia suffered a stroke and died. She left behind $700,000 for scholarship funding to Catholic University to support a professorial chair and student loan fund in the School of Education. Her contributions to education is longer  unnoticed and she will always be remembered as one of the first to accomplish such greatness.