Alberta Henry BS’80 was the first Black woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the U, in 1971. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1920, she moved to Salt Lake City in 1949 and lived in the area until she passed in 2005. Henry was a powerhouse in Utah education and founded the Alberta Henry Education Foundation to provide scholarships for underprivileged students. She was also the president of the Salt Lake City NAACP for 12 years and became the first Black employee of the city’s school district, helping recruit more Black teachers, combat discrimination, and ensure that Black children were being treated fairly. Henry’s other efforts included founding an honor society to support and encourage high school students. Today the Alberta Henry Scholarship continues to help students pursue their education at the U. Here, Henry holds an unidentified elementary school student’s hands in 1975.
Photo Courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, Alberta Henry Photograph Collection (P1158)