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April 25, 1878

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins, America’s first primarily research university, granted Christine Ladd-Franklin, ’69, mathematician, logician and (later) pioneer psychologist, permission to attend the lectures of the eminent mathematician, James Joseph Sylvester, without, however, admitting her as a degree candidate. She was later awarded the stipend, but not the title, of a fellow at Hopkins, the first woman to receive one, and was permitted to study also with the preeminent philosopher and logician, Charles Sanders Peirce.

Ladd completed her degree requirements in 1882, and Peirce called her doctoral dissertation, “The Algebra of Logic,” “brilliant.” He gave it a prominent place in Studies in Logic by Members of the Johns Hopkins University, which he edited and published in 1883. The university, however, waited until 1926 to award Ladd-Franklin her PhD—in conjunction with the celebration of its 50th year.

She was the only person to receive an honorary degree from Vassar, the LL.D, which was awarded to her in 1887.

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