The first Black graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania preeminent Business School, Hettie Simmons Love, has finally been honored after 75 years.
Love graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 with her master’s degree in business administration. The 99-year-old Love was honored for being the first Black graduate from Wharton after 75 years by the National Youth Foundation for Women’s History Month this March.
The Wharton graduate attended a private Black boarding school in South Carolina, the Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy, before attending college at the Historically Black College and University, Fisk University.
It was at Fisk where Love joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. It was in 2016 at Alpha Kappa Alpha event when she first learned she was the first Black person to graduate from the Wharton School, where she received her master’s degree in business. The Wharton School’s business master’s program is ranked just behind Stanford, which is ranked as the best.
Finurah shared the announcement on Twitter on March 8 with a caption.
“Hettie Simmons Love is receiving a bit of recognition for being the first Black to graduate from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.”
Hettie Simmons Love is receiving a bit of recognition for being the first Black to graduate from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania https://t.co/pcw2u22DvF
— Finurah (@Finurah_) March 8, 2022
GSN-In honor of Women’s History Month, the National Youth Foundation (NYF) presents the almost uncaptured history of Hettie Simmons Love — the first African American to graduate from the preeminent University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. pic.twitter.com/OEDnyd3xhV
— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) March 5, 2022
The Wharton School at UPenn honored 98-year-old Hettie Simmons Love, its first Black MBA graduate. https://t.co/52X8qagaxS
— #becauseofthemwecan (@Becauseofthem) March 8, 2022
Only eight percent of the Wharton School is Black today, according to Finurah. While Love attended the school, she was the only Black student as well as one of two women attending classes. She credited several Jewish students for accepting her and inviting her to join their study group.
Despite her Ivy League master’s degree, Love said she still struggled to find work due to her racism. She later married Dr. Goerge Love and had two children, George and Karen.
Love also worked at the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia in the finance department. She also worked at her church as a treasurer. Her late husband helped to desegregate the public school system in the 1960s after the family moved to Harrisburg, Pa.
Love was also honored with a children’s book, “Hettie Simmons Love: Penn Pioneer” in 2021.