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Alexander, Hattie Elizabeth (05 April 1901–24 June 1968), microbiologist and pediatrician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Bain Alexander, a merchant, and Elsie May Townsend, both of Scottish ancestry. The family remained in Baltimore throughout Alexander’s relatively happy and comfortable childhood. She attended Baltimore’s Western High School for Girls prior to enrolling in Goucher College, to which she won a partial scholarship. While at Goucher, her enthusiasm for a variety of sports—hockey, baseball, basketball—exceeded that for academics, and she was an unimpressive student. Nevertheless, she exhibited marked, though largely unapplied, skill in Dr. Jessie King’s bacteriology class, and fellow students in the Goucher yearbook declared that “ambition fires her; hygiene claims her; kindness portrays her.”...

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Bunting, Mary (10 July 1910–21 January 1998), college educator and microbiologist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest child of Henry Andrews Ingraham, a lawyer, and Mary Shotwell Ingraham, a community activist. Her well-educated parents were committed to bringing culture to their children, along with a love of the outdoors. Family life was close and satisfying for Polly (so called to avoid confusion with her mother), who appreciated her father’s interests in art and literature and her mother’s community commitments, including as a member of the New York City Board of Higher Education and the national president of the Young Women’s Christian Association....

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Alice C. Evans Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114793).

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Evans, Alice Catherine (29 January 1881–05 September 1975), microbiologist, was born in Neath, Pennsylvania, the daughter of William Howell Evans, a farmer, surveyor, and teacher, and Anne B. Evans, a teacher. Alice Evans taught school from 1901 to 1905 before going on for further education herself. She took a two-year nature study course specifically geared toward rural teachers and organized by Cornell University, where she then completed her bachelor of science degree in 1909. She went on to receive a master of science degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1910 and later also did graduate work at George Washington University and the University of Chicago....