Sterling, Sr., and Ruth Lloyd

Ruth Lloyd

Dr Sterling Lloyd Sr. (j. 1963; d. 1980) and Dr. Ruth Lloyd (j. 1963; d. 1995), who started coming in the 1950s, are the parents of former Board president Sterling Lloyd, Jr. (d. 2019) and daughter Marilyn Lloyd Price, who married the younger son of Dr. and Mrs. Kline Price in the church. Ruth was a Board member and chair of the Music Committee (1969), and was active in the Friendly Seniors until her death. In addition to her activities at All Souls, she helped found the National Museum for Women in the Arts in 1987.

Ruth, whose mother was a white clerk at the Treasury Department and whose father was a Black Pullman porter, attended Dunbar High School, graduated magna cum laude from Mt Holyoke in 1937 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and earned a master’s degree in zoology at Howard in 1938. From 1938 to 1940, she was a Rosenwald Fellow in anatomy at Case Western Reserve in Ohio, where she studied the fertility of female Macaque monkeys. Upon graduation in 1941, she became the first Black woman in the United States to earn a PhD in anatomy and only the sixth black woman to obtain a doctoral degree in one of the STEM disciplines.

She joined the medical faculty of Howard University in 1942 and reached the rank of associate professor in 1955. In “This African-American Life,” Hugh Price’s memoir, Price said Ruth (who was his mother-in-law) remained a fixture in the Medical School for over 35 years, teaching most, if not all, of the future doctors and dentists trained at Howard. “She specialized in ‘the cadaver walk,’ the gruesome stroll through the lab in which she led Med students in discussing corpses,” which earned her the nickname “Mama Lloyd.”

Sterling Sr. was an usher captain during the 1950s and 60s. He taught pulmonary medicine at Howard Medical School and was chief of Pulmonology at the VA Hospital in DC for 13 years before his retirement in 1976. Like his wife, he also attended Dunbar High School, from which he graduated in 1930. He had a private medical practice and was a school physician at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Va., before becoming chief of the VA Hospital’s pulmonary function division. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1934 and a medical degree from Howard University’s School of Medicine in 1939, where he finished first in his class. He did his internship at Cleveland City Hospital and his residency in internal medicine at Freedman’s Hospital.

Wikipedia article on Ruth Smith Lloyd

Association for Women in Science entry on Ruth Smith Lloyd

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