When Lelia Thompson Flagg, a 1960 graduate in civil engineering, arrived at Missouri S&T for the first time, there were no dorms for her to stay in. Instead, she stayed with a Black family south of campus while earning her degree.

Flagg was the first Black woman to graduate from Missouri S&T and was one of only 11 women during her freshman year in 1956. She excelled at math in high school and was encouraged by her teachers to study engineering.

After graduation, Flagg headed to California to work at the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering. Later, she returned to S&T and became assistant director of admissions until 1998.

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