The Remarkable Arkansas Woman Mentioned in ‘Hidden Figures’
Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures with Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner? If you haven't you really need to because it's about the brilliant African American women who worked at NASA in the early 1960s. But before those historic women, there was another woman named Dorothy McFadden Hoover whose work was mentioned in the film, and Dorothy was from Hope, Arkansas.
That's why it is fantastic to see that The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana announced the establishment of the Dorothy McFadden Hoover “Hidden Figure” Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
More information about this special scholarship is below but first more on who Dorothy McFadden Hoover was...
Dorothy McFadden Hoover's Remarkable Story
Dorothy McFadden Hoover was born to William and Elizabeth (Wilburn) McFadden in Hope, Arkansas, on July 1, 1918.
Dorothy graduated from Yerger High School in 1934 at age fifteen. In 1943, Dorothy earned her first master’s degree, an M.S. in mathematics. by 1954 she earned her second master's degree. This one was in physics and she did this while being a single parent to two children. Then she started working on her PH.D in mathematics.
Dorothy McFadden Hoover's Accomplishments
Back in the 1940s, Dorthy was one of the first six African American women that were hired by Langley Labs, NACA which later became NASA. Some stories I've read say she and the other women were hired as human computers because of their brilliant minds. By 1951, she gained the title of Aeronautical Research Scientist. She was the first African American woman to be listed on a Langley engineering report. Usually only listed on those reports were the white male engineers.
According to EncycolpediaofArkansas.net She helped develop the “thin sweptback tapered wing,” on airplanes that became the industry standard.
Dorothy McFadden Hoover passed away on February 7, 2000, in Washington DC
What an amazing woman! You can read more about Dorothy McFadden Hoover Here
The UAHT Scholarship
The $20,000 endowed scholarship was funded by gifts from Ozaree Twillie, Ellen Turner, and donors to the Giving Tuesday 2021 Campaign.
This scholarship will provide financial assistance to students pursuing a certificate or degree from the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana with preference given to an African American female with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Ellen Turner said in a press release;
“When my friends Richard Sallee and Janice Russell discovered Dorothy McFadden Hoover’s story a few years ago, I joined them in their efforts to learn more about this courageous, groundbreaking, academically gifted woman. I hoped to get that story into the hands of young women of color. Dorothy was an amazing woman who overcame obstacles that we cannot imagine in pursuit of an education in mathematics and physics.”
Here's to the future Dorothy McFadden Hoovers of the world!
LOOK: 28 Modern Black History Makers & Moments
LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches
LOOK: 50 Black actors who made entertainment history