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Blanche Wilkins Williams graduated at the top of the class of 1893. (Photo courtesy of Bahl Museum Chair Jody Olson)

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Blanche Wilkins Williams was the first graduate of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf who was a Black, deaf woman. (Photo courtesy of Bahl Museum Chair Jody Olson)

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More than a century after Blanche Wilkins Williams was denied admission from Gallaudet University for her skin color, the school will award her a posthumous honorary doctorate degree.


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Cookie Brand (front) sits next to Mike Cashman and discusses Blache Wilkins Williams with Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano (not pictured). Next to them sits Harvey Hoffman of the Minnesota Gallaudet University Alumni Association. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano discusses the posthumous honorary doctorate to be awarded to Blanche Wilkins Williams during a visit to the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf on Friday. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano (left) discusses the legacy of Blanche Wilkins Williams with several members of Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and some Gallaudet staff, as well as Bahl Museum Chair Jody Olson (front right). (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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In 2018, Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf named its newest dormitory after Blanche Wilkins Williams. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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Reach Reporter Colton Kemp at 507-333-3129. © Copyright 2022 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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