UGA names science library to honor Bainbridge trailblazer Shirley Mathis McBay

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

In 1966, Shirley Mathis McBay (1935-2021) made history as the University of Georgia’s first Black Ph.D. graduate and first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. As an alumna, she began her career as a math professor at Spelman College and went on to become Dean for Student Affairs at MIT and Chair of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering. She later launched the Quality Education for Minorities Network, a nonprofit that she led for more than 20 years. The naming of the University of Georgia’s Science Library in Dr. McBay ‘s memory commemorates her legacy as a trailblazer at UGA and her remarkable 50-year career as a scholar, teacher, university administrator, and tireless advocate for the participation of minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Shirley Mathis McBay Science Library serves a wide range of scientific disciplines and receives up to a half-million visits annually from students who value the library as a space for individual and group study, research, and access to technology.