When Inez Kaiser arrived on the PSU campus in the ’30s, opportunities were very limited for a young African-American woman, and there seemed no shortage of people around to tell her what she could do and become.
Her return in 2010 to deliver the keynote address at Apple Day was a tribute not only to social change, but also to the determination and grit of a unique person.
The first African-American woman to open and operate a public relations firm in the U.S., Dr. Inez Y. Kaiser earned a bachelor of science degree in education (home economics) from PSU in 1938 and a master of science degree from Columbia (N.Y.) College in 1958. She also studied at Chicago University, Rockhurst University and Dartmouth College. In 1952, Lincoln University awarded her an honorary doctor of law degree.
Over her lifetime, Dr. Kaiser has been a pioneer, recording a long list of “firsts” as an African-American and as a woman. She has advised presidents and directed the marketing efforts of major corporations hoping to reach African-American customers.
Despite her long list of accomplishments, Dr. Kaiser’s words to the students gathered that day were simple.
“You’ve heard my life’s journey,” she told the audience. “If I did it, you can do it, too.”