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Madgetta Dungy papers

Identifier: IWA0940

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Scope and Contents

The Madgetta Dungy papers date from 1942 - 2014 and measure 3 linear feet in 8 boxes.

The Personal series (1940s - 2014) chronicles Dungy's personal items, interests, and involvements. This series contains materials regarding membership with national and local organizations, personal correspondence, Thornton and Dungy family photographs, newspaper clippings, and materials from volunteer and community organizations.

The Educational series (1968 - 2014) contains materials related to Dungy's schoolwork and academic accomplishments, including a collection of course materials from classes at the University to Iowa in the 1990s. The series also contains Dungy's Ph.D. dissertation, "African American Graduate School Experiences, 1937 - 1959: An Oral History," and the oral histories which Dungy recorded.

The Professional series (1972 - 2012) documents Dungy's professional work at the University of Iowa, as well as other universities around the country. This series contains Dungy's professional materials, including mentoring binders, presentations, correspondence, awards, and reports.


  • Creation: 1942 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa. However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Madgetta Thornton Dungy was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1942 to Madge Meadors Thornton and Edgar T. Thornton. In 1964, she became the first African American woman to graduate from Cornell College in Iowa. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science. Thornton married Claiborne I. Dungy, a pediatrician, and they raised two children, Kathryn and Camille, while pursuing their careers.

Dungy earned a master's degree in higher education from the University of Colorado in 1974 and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa in 1997. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of African American students in graduate school in the 20th century, and relied on oral histories which she conducted.

Aside from working for the Girl Scouts of Orange County in California, Dungy's professional career was spent in higher education administration. Over her career, Dungy worked at six different universities in positions concerning admissions, multicultural affairs, advising, financial aid, and minority student programs. For over a decade, she served the University of Iowa as the Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine. Dungy was also an active community member. She beloned to the Iowa Women's Foundation and to the Links organization, an African American women's foundation.


3 Linear Feet

18 audiocassettes

Language of Materials



First Black woman to graduate from Cornell College and administrator at the University of Iowa whose dissertation focused on the experiences of African American graduate students.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 486) were donated by Madgetta Dungy in 2015 and subsequent years.

Madgetta Dungy papers
In Progress
Jack Kamp, 2021; Anna Holland, 2021; Meredith Kite, 2024
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)