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PDM Women's History

Class of 1917

Written by Kelsey LeClair:

March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, the Dental Library would like to introduce you to the first women graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine.

The School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine became coeducational in 1914. In that same year, three pioneering women joined the male ranks of Penn Dental: Jane Nathan, Jessica Longsdorf Bozorth, and Esther Schupack. They were the first women to receive their Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees upon graduating with the Class of 1917.

Stop by the Circulation Desk in the Reading Room throughout the month of March to grab bookmarks featuring these three inspiring women.

Figure 1 Jane Nathan

Dr. Jane Nathan had a dental career before coming to Penn. She worked as a dentist for seven years in Johannesburg, South Africa, after graduating from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland, and later became a delegate for the Transvaal Dental Society in London.  In addition to the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr. Nathan also attended the University of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and the University of Bonn in Germany.

Dr. Nathan continued her career practicing dentistry in Johannesburg after graduating from the School of Dental Medicine.

Figure 2 Jessica Longsdorf Bozorth

Dr. Jessica Longsdorg Bozorth, who was born in Centerville, Pennsylvania, also attended medical school before enrolling at the School of Dental Medicine. She held a degree from the Women’s Medical College and Dickinson College.

Dr. Bozorth became a practicing dentist in Center City, Philadelphia.
























Figure 3 Esther Schupack

Dr. Esther Schupack, the youngest of the group, was a graduate of the Girls’ High School and a native Philadelphian.

Dr. Schupack became a practicing dentist in Center City.


Works Cited

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Penn Dental Record 1917, (Philadelphia, PA: E.A. Wright Co.) Leon Levy Dental Medicine Library.

“Women at Penn: Timeline of Pioneers and Achievements,” University of Pennsylvania Archives. Last modified July 2001.





Announcement Snippet on Miss Moore as the first woman to hold office

Photo of Mary Margaret Moore

Miss Mary Margaret Moore was the first woman to hold office in any Dental School class. She was made vice-president her freshman year as a Dental Student. She graduated in 1918.

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