The First Grandmother to Graduate From Yale Medical School Is a Black Woman From Pennsylvania

This spring Karen Morris became the first grandmother of any race to earn a degree from the Yale Medical School.

Morris, now 44 years old, had her first of five children at age 16 while she was in high school. She completed high school and operated a beauty shop in her home while raising her family.

At age 29 Morris enrolled in the nursing program at Harrisburg Area Community College. After earning an associate’s degree, in 1996 she transferred to York College where she completed her bachelor’s degree in 2002 earning magna cum laude honors.

This spring she completed her medical training at Yale with more than $160,000 in debt. She and her five children, four grandchildren, and new husband were invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. There Dr. Morris was informed that she was the recipient of the first Ambi Skincare Scholarship in Science and Medicine. The scholarship funds will pay off her educational debt in full.