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NC State’s First Female African-American Graduate Dies

Norma Wright Garcia during a 2007 presentation at NC State.

Norma Wright Garcia, the first African-American female to earn an undergraduate degree from NC State, died Monday in a small town in Eastern North Carolina not far from the Sampson County farm where she grew up. Garcia was a public school teacher for 25 years. She was 68 at the time of her death.

As a history major at NC State, Garcia took advantage of all the educational and cultural offerings available on campus, saying later that her time at NC State helped shape her world view. “I met a lot of people from other countries who I never would have met had I stayed on the farm,” she said. “My experiences at NC State made me more aware and interested in the world around me.”

Garcia was more interested in learning about history than in making it. In her life, though, she managed to do both. She used education as a way to explore the world, to learn about different cultures and, almost as an afterthought, to make a bit of history herself.

Read about Norma Wright Garcia on NC State’s Red and White for Life blog.