School named for great alum

After the Penn-Assisted School became the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School last month, the Current asked what shortcuts people were taking with the name.

We asked parent Cathy Gontarek, art director, Pennsylvania Gazette; Nancy Streim, associate dean, Graduate School of Education, and GSE planning coordinator for the school, Ann Kreidle. They all said the Penn Alexander School. Kreidle added, “Or PAS.” School Principal Sheila Sydnor chose no shortcut at all.

No shortcut is what Alexander (Ed’18,G’19,Gr’21,GrL’27,Hon’74) deserves. She was the first African-American woman to enroll in Penn’s law school and earn a law degree, to pass the bar and to practice law in Pennsylvania. She was the first African American to earn a doctorate in economics in the nation—also from Penn.

Alexander served on President Harry S Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights whose report served as the foundation of the civil rights movement in America.

Originally published on September 19, 2002