Euphemia Lofton Haynes (September 11, 1890, Washington, D.C. – July 25, 1980, Washington, D.C.) was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D in Mathematics. She obtained her doctorate from the Catholic University of America in 1943 with a dissertation entitled The Determination of Sets of Independent Conditions Characterizing Certain Special Cases of Symmetric Correspondences. Her dissertation was supervised by Professor Aubrey Edward Landry.

During her life as mathematician and educator, Dr. Haynes was committed to public education in DC. She taught in the public schools for 47 years, and in 1966 became the first woman to chair the DC Board of Education. She created the mathematics department at Miner’s Teachers College, now known as the University of the District of Columbia, and served as its inaugural chair.

Dr. Haynes was also dedicated to her Catholic faith, and served on many Catholic and community service organizations. For instance, she was the first vice president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, and was a member of the NAACP and of the American Association of University Women. In 1959, Pope John XXIII awarded her the Papal decoration of honor, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.

The Euphemia Lofton Haynes Award was established in 2018. It is given to a junior mathematics major who has demonstrated excellence and promise in their study of mathematics.


Year Winner

Liam Foley
Marcos Tavara

2023 Justina Benvenuto
Patrick Daigle
Nicholas Pakaluk
2022 Riley Smith
Haile Zeleke
2021 Elizabeth Pacious
2020 Christopher Le
Kerry Silidker
2019 Casandra Abgrab
2018 Theresa Abela
Matthew Menture
Theresa Abela and Matthew Menture