Mildred Settle Bunton is recognized as the first African American female to attend and graduate from Penn State. Bunton attended the university from 1929-1932.
Born into poverty, Bunton worked hard to get into college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Development. To make ends meet, she worked with various faculty on campus, took out loans, and won a few scholarships from the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women.
Bunton excelled in her academics at Penn State, constantly appearing on the dean’s list and graduated with the highest of honors.
Following her graduation from Penn State, Bunton would go on to be a Director of Dietetics at Feedmen’s Hospital, Associate Professor at Howard University, a staff member on the 1969 White House Conference on Nutrition, Food and Health while also earning a Master’s degree in nutrition from Cornell University.
In honor of Bunton and the first male student, Calvin H. Waller,Penn State has established the Bunton-Waller Fellowship and Scholarship.