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White, Winifred Parker


Biographical Information

Winifred Parker White grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. White's parents, Frederick and Frieda (Campbell) Parker, were adovcates for the benefits of a college education and strongly encouraged Winifred and her siblings to continue their educations beyond high school.

Winifred and her older sister, Frieda, enrolled at Purdue University in the fall of 1946. However, at this time, most African American students lived in the segregated areas of Lafayette because they were not allowed to live on campus or anywhere within West Lafayette city limits. Winifred and her sister, together with their parents, demanded that the University allow them to live on campus as was the policy for most incoming women students. Although their request was intially denied, the family continued to appeal the decision and enlisted the support of the Black community around the state. Eventually the decision was overturned by Governor Ralph Gates, who directed the university to integrate its student housing. After the decision was reversed, Frieda and Winifred became the first Black students to live on campus (or in town) at Purdue University.

While at Purdue, White resided at Bunker Hill and served as secretary on the governing board for the Women's Residence Halls. White earned her Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in 1950.


Debris yearbook (1950). Debris yearbook collection. Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, West Lafayette, IN. Retrieved from:


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (2020, July 23-24). Frieda Parker Jefferson. Legacy. Retrieved from: