State's first female graduate receives national honor
Friday, December 17, 2021
The Daughters of the American Revolution have posthumously honored Jessie Thatcher Bost, OSU’s first alumna, with the “Women in American History Award.” The award was accepted by Beverly Golden, OSU alumna and Bost’s granddaughter.
The Cimarron Chapter of the DAR nominated Bost for the national award, which recognizes notable women who have been intellectual, educational, social, religious, political, scientific or cultural innovators. Mary Woods, the chapter’s Women in American History chair, led the nomination effort.
“We are so proud to acknowledge Jessie Thatcher Bost for this prestigious award,” Woods said. “She is truly a distinguished woman in American history. What a wonderful choice to be Cimarron Chapter DAR’s first nominee for this award.”
Bost graduated from Oklahoma A&M College — later Oklahoma State University— in 1897, becoming the first woman to graduate from any college in Oklahoma. She believed education held the key to independence and opportunity and spent most of her life as a teacher in Oklahoma public schools.
While at OAMC, Bost co-founded the Sigma Literary Society. She also worked as an assistant at the campus library where she was instrumental in setting up the institution. Bost provided much needed consistency in the library’s early years as the librarians changed often.
Bost went on to serve as the first president of both the Alumni Association and the Half-Century Club. In 1925, OSU named its first women's dormitory in her honor.
The OSU Library now holds the Jessie Thatcher Bost Collection, which features her essays, photos, class notebooks and other OAMC memorabilia. The papers deal with a range of topics from education to modern views on a woman’s place in the world. As some of the only remaining papers from early OAMC students, Bost’s collection provides valuable insight into the first days of the college.
To learn more and view select items from the collection, visit bit.ly/JTBost.