34 Black Women to Graduate From West Point

Thirty-four black women are expected to graduate from The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, next week. That will be the largest class of African-American women to graduate together in the military academy’s.

What We Know…

  • Since founded in 1802, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until 1877, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. The first black cadet to graduate in the 20th century attended in 1932.
  • According to CBS News Women weren’t admitted to West Point at all until the class of 1980. Today they make up about 20% of cadets.
  • West Point spokesman, Frank Demaro, told CNN  “Last year’s graduating class had 27 and the expectation is next year’s class will be even larger than this year’s.”
  • It was only last year that Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams was appointed as the first black officer in command of West Point. The year before, Simone Askew, became the first black woman to lead the school’s Corps of Cadets.

Vice President Mike Pence will speak at the West Point graduation ceremony, which will take place Saturday, May 25.