From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Coleman, Ruth A.

(born: 1950) 

Ruth A. Coleman became the first African American woman graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky in 1977. She was the only African American in her classes and one of just two women in a couple of her classes.

In addition to being a civil engineer graduate, Coleman also has an associate degree in engineering technology from Lexington Technical Institute [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and was a math major at Transylvania University for two years. She graduated from Bryan Station High School in 1968. Coleman was employed at the Kentucky Department of Transportation's Division of Bridges [now Kentucky Transportation Cabinet]. 

Ruth Coleman was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Cleo J. and Samuel O. Coleman, Sr.

This entry was submitted by Rhetta Coleman Young, sister of Ruth Coleman. For more see J. Swartz, "Woman makes inroads in Engineering School," Lexington Herald, 5/23/1977, Lifestyle section, p. A-9. See also Lindsey Piercy and Leslie Bueno, "Wildcat Wednesday: Ruth Coleman, 1st Black woman to graduate from UK Engineering," UKNOW|University of Kentucky News,02/16/2022 (online).


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NKAA Source: The Lexington herald (newspaper)

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“Coleman, Ruth A.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-02-16 14:12:49