Dr. Vivian Pinn, a 1967 graduate was the only woman and African-American in her class, even before women where able to enroll in the undergraduate College. She eventually became the first director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes. She was also the first African-American woman to give the University’s Commencement Address in 2005.
The UVA community honored Dr. Pinn in Mcleod Hall yesterday, as the newly renamed Pinn Hall is being renovated right next door. Pinn Hall was originally named Jordan Hall in 1972, after Harvey E. Jordan, a former dean of the School of Medicine and a proponent in the early 1900s of the now discredited scientific eugenics(which served as a basis for discriminating against minority groups, the mentally ill and impoverished communities).
The UVA Board of Visitors voted to change the name of the building last year. Yesterday was the official dedication of Pinn Hall. UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said, “For the University of Virginia, it is a privilege to dedicate this space in honor of someone who has spent much of her life shattering glass ceilings and breaking down barriers – someone who has made a powerful impact on the University’s history; the history of medicine and women in medicine; and the future for African-American women.”
To learn more about Dr. Pinn visit links below: