Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Garnett, Jessie (Gideon), 1897 - 1976

Jessie Garnett (Gideon) (1897-1976), D1919, was the first African-American woman to graduate from Tufts School of Dental Medicine. She went on to be the first African-American woman to practice dentistry in the Boston area.

Born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, on April 20, 1897, Garnett moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a teenager and attended Girls High School. She enrolled in the Tufts Dental school as a member of the Class of 1919, the only African-American student, and one of just ten women. Her first offices were in a professional building on the Roxbury-South End line. She later built an office behind her home on Monroe Street in Roxbury. Due to arthritis in her hands, Garnett retired in 1969, after practicing dentistry for nearly fifty years.

Garnett was a member of the NAACP and Urban League, sat on the boards of directors of the Boston YWCA, St. Mark's Congregational Church of Roxbury, and the Freedom House. Garnett had also been a charter member of the Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She was married to Robert C. Garnett, with whom she had two children. She died September 5, 1976.

A memorial scholarship fund for African-American female students attending the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, the Dr. Jessie Garnett - Dr. Mary Thompson Scholarship, was established by Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Garnett's memory.

Source: VF, SSDI

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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