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Webb, Rhoygnette (Rhoygnette Allegra), 1892-1922



  • Existence: March 17, 1892 - February 11, 1922

Biographical Information

Rhoygnette Webb is the first known African American woman student to attend Purdue University. Webb was born March 17, 1892 in Peru, Indiana. She attended Purdue as early as 1909 and was a member and served as treasurer for the W.E.B. DuBois Club, an African American student organization at Purdue. Webb belonged to the 1911 School of Pharmacy class, but left before graduation.

Webb attended the Provident Hospital's Nursing School after leaving Purdue and graduated in 1914. After graduation, Webb worked in Chicago and was later hired as head nurse at Dr. Butler and Dr. Garner's Sanitarium in Evanston, Illinois. In 1916, Webb was appointed matron for girls at the Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri, an historically Black land-grant university. Just a few months after her appointment, Webb was among a handful of nurses slated to follow the Eighth Regiment from Illinois, an all-Black militia, to the US-Mexico border during World War I, though it is unclear if they were actually called upon. Webb resigned from Lincoln Institute at the end of 1916 and returned to Chicago to continue working as a nurse.

Rhoygnette Webb died on February 11, 1922 of tuberculosis and was buried in Peru, Indiana.


Harmeyer, A. (2020, April 23). "The Search for Miss Webb." Memoirs and Memories. Purdue University Archives and Special Collections. Retrieved from: