Founders Week 2018 – Dr. Christina B. Offerson

Our final Founders Week “something to do” is really more of a “mark your calendar.”  On March 10th, the Durham Museum will open an exhibit in collaboration with Creighton University titled ‘Omaha in the Anthropocene: A Learning Exploration with Creighton University’.   You may recall our December 1, 2017, post about the project, when the students from Dr. Adam Sundberg’s class presented their findings.  The upcoming exhibit will feature the artifacts studied, including the transcontinental telegraph wire from our collection (studied by Lindzey and Kassidy, seen below).
Lindzey Sanchez and Kassidy Smith with Anthropocene artifacts
Our featured individual for today is Christina B. Offerson, the first woman to receive a degree from Creighton University and – according to a scholar of 19th century Catholic higher education – perhaps the first woman to receive a degree from a Catholic university in the United States.*  Dr. Offerson, from South Omaha, Nebraska, graduated from Creighton’s John A. Creighton College of Medicine in 1894.  The 1896 Omaha  directory shows her practicing medicine in the city.  Also in 1896, she married and changed her last name to Ziegler.

We only recently identified Offerson as Creighton’s first woman graduate.  Early school records only used her initials, and it was a lucky (or providential) find in a list of alumni of a later College of Medicine bulletin that caught our attention.  We still are learning about her, and we’ll let you know what we uncover.
* In case we are wrong in this claim – and we expect others to let us know if we are indeed wrong – I don’t want to throw this scholar and friend under the bus.  If the claim proves to be correct, we will give him the credit for letting us know just how significant Dr. Offerson is.



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