This scholarship has been established within the Gaston Scholars program to grow further the underrepresented population of African-American medical students at the College of Medicine. Dr. Oxley was an alumna of the College of Medicine and the first African-American to earn a medical degree from UC. This scholarship honors her pioneering spirit in paving the way for future medical students.
Lucy Orintha Oxley was born in 1912 in Harrisburg, Pa. Her parents, a teacher, and a Harvard-educated Episcopal minister, moved to Cincinnati when she was three years old. Oxley wanted to be a doctor from her earliest years. She excelled in her classwork, graduating from Woodward High School at age 16. She applied to the UC College of Medicine and was accepted due to pressure from her father, a rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in the West End, and some influential family friends.
Oxley faced discrimination while at UC in both her social and academic life. She was called racial slurs by some of her classmates and professors, yet she was loved, respected, and supported by others. Her dedication to medicine enabled her to persevere, and she graduated in 1935, among the top 15 in her class.
Dr. Oxley received many honors during her career, including the AMA Special Achievement Award (1967). She was the first woman named Family Physician of the Year by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (1984). Dr. Oxley had over 200 patients at the time of her death in 1991.
In 2008, Johnie and Kenneth Davis, MD, established the Lucy Oxley, MD, African American Medical Student Scholarship to honor Lucy Oxley's memory and help fund medical education for those who are following in her footsteps.
UC and UC Health employees can give via payroll deduction today!