Mr. William Hunter Dammond

Mr. William Hunter Dammond was the first Black graduate from the Western University of Pennsylvania (now University of Pittsburgh).

Degree(s): Civil Engineering

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Undergraduate Institution:  Western Pennsylvania University (now University of Pittsburgh)

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Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Gazette

Mr. William Hunter Dammond was the first Black graduate from the Western University of Pennsylvania (now University of Pittsburgh). He was also the first person to bequeath the University of Pittsburgh with an endowed gift of $25,000 in 1858 to support the education of American and Canadian Black men. An accomplished inventor, Mr. Dammond was responsible for the creation of the electrical signaling system that notified train engineers of approaching trains, allowing them to stop, go, and change directions. Mr. Dammond spent a large part of his career fighting patent piracy and lack of adequate compensation for his inventions. He also spent time as a math professor at Wilberforce University (HBCU).

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