As a part of its series in celebration of Black History Month, the Razorback Athletic Department is saluting Trailblazers from the African-American community who have attended the University of Arkansas. Several of the honorees in our series were also selected as Silas Hunt Legacy Award recipients recently.
Dr. Edith Irby Jones of Houston, Texas, has devoted the majority of her life to helping others. She has used her education and abilities to help people in small communities, large cities, and foreign countries.Jones received her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1952, earning the distinction of being the first black graduate from what was then called the University of Arkansas School of Medicine.She was elected the first female president of the National Medical Association and was the first black woman resident at an all white school, the Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals. In 1962, Dr. Jones set up a private practice in inner-city Houston.Jones has devoted much time and her personal resources to help those in need. She founded the Edith Irby Jones Foundation to fund scholarships for the needy. She established and supports a clinic in Veracruz, Mexico. After a visit to Haiti in which she saw the impoverished living, medical, and sanitary conditions of the people, she helped provide funds not only to set up a clinic for the poor, but also to work with a landowner to acquire 40 acres of property on which fresh water wells were drilled. She is a charter member of Physicians for Human Rights, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.Jones is currently chief of the medical staff at Riverside General Hospital in Houston, Texas. She has been honored time and again for her leadership, voluntarism, service, and philanthropy. She was named a distinguished alumna of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and holds honorary doctorates from Missouri Valley College, Mary Holmes College, and Knoxville College. She has been honored as a “Living Legend” by the Joseph Henry Tyler Branch of the National Medical Association, was recognized among the “Most Influential People of 1986” by Ebony magazine, and was inducted into the UAMS Hall of Fame in 2004.
The University of Arkansas’ Office of University Relations provided the content of today’s salute. For more information on the Silas Hunt Legacy Award Event, please jump here.