In Memoriam

Frances Rains (1911-2006)

Frances Rains, a pioneer in the racial integration of the University of Minnesota, died recently after suffering a stroke in Long Beach, California. She was 95 years old.

Before Rains graduated from high school in Minneapolis, her counselor told her that she would “be better off attending a racially segregated nursing school in Kansas City” rather than applying to the school at the University of Minnesota. Rains decided she wanted to stay near home but was denied admittance to the nursing school because of her race. She appealed the decision to a committee of the state legislature, which later ordered her admission to the nursing school.

In 1932 Rains became the first black graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Throughout her career she taught nursing at several hospitals including the University of Southern California General Hospital.