Black History: Special Delivery!!
Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was born in Washington, DC. She received her BA from Smith College and an MA in education from University of Chicago in 1930. She obtained her Ph.D in Mathematics from Catholic University in 1943. Her father was Dr. William S. Lofton, a well respected African American dentist. He also supported many charities and African American businesses financially. Her mother, Lavinia Day Lofton was very active in the Catholic Church. Lavinia Lofton held a BA in mathematics and a minor in psychology.
Euphemia married Harold Appo Haynes in 1917. Harold Haynes was a principal and then deputy superintendent in charge of the “colored” schools in Washington DC. Dr. Euphemia Haynes taught in the Washington DC’s public schools for forty-seven years. She was the first female chair of the DC Board of Education and played an integral role in integration of DC schools. She was also a vocal opponent of the “track system” which disproportionately impacted African American students in a negative way. Under the track system, students were placed in either academic or vocational programs based on their educational achievement early in their education. There was no recourse available to change the “track” if a student’s academic achievement improved or their interests changed.
In addition to her work in public schools, she was a professor of mathematics at Miner Teachers College where she established the Mathematics Department. She was also a professor at the District of Columbia Teachers College. Dr. Haynes occasionally taught part-time at Howard University as well. She retired from the public school system in 1959.
Dr. Haynes was very active within the Catholic Church and her local community and was awarded the Papal Medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from the Catholic Church in 1959. She died in 1980 at the age of 90. At the time of her death, she bequeathed $700,000 to Catholic University to support the establishment of a professional chair and to develop a student loan fund in the university’s school of education.