Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Philo A. Hutcheson, Ph.D. - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Hayward Richardson, Ed.D - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Kimberly Frazier, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Michael Bieze, Ph.D. - Committee Member


ABSTRACT LUCY DIGGS SLOWE, HOWARD UNIVERSITY DEAN OF WOMEN, 1922-1937: EDUCATOR, ADMINISTRATOR, ACTIVIST by Lisa R. Rasheed Within the last twenty years, some educational researchers initiated an emphasis to study the accomplishments and contributions of African-American women in higher education. Although they were marginally recognized, some African-American women forged into uncharted territories by providing examples of administrative leadership in post-secondary settings. Their triumphs and failures have gone unnoticed, leaving a vacant space in the chronicles of history in higher education. Little is know about one African-American woman, as an administrator at a co-educational institution in terms of her vision about her position as a professional, her view of student-oriented services and activities, and her acknowledgement and realization of the need for a student-centered community as a vital context for learning. Using historical methods, this study examines the life and work of Lucy Diggs Slowe, Howard University Dean of Women from 1922 until her death in 1937. The purpose of this study is to offer a more comprehensive illumination about Slowe’s experiences and contributions as an educational leader. Lucy Diggs Slowe was a woman of strong constitution and substance. A woman of many firsts, she was one of the founding members of the African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha in 1908. Slowe would go on to leave an indelible imprint philosophically, professionally, and personally on the lives she touched as both an administrator at Howard University and a member of the Washington, D.C. community. Slowe’s contributions are worthy of study to better understand how she embodied leadership by focusing on her career in higher education as an administrator.