Enolia McMillan

Enolia McMillan

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Enolia McMillan

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Enolia Pettigen McMillan (October 20, 1904 – October 24, 2006) was the first female national president of the NAACP.

Born Enolia Virginia Pettigen in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Elizabeth Fortune Pettigen and John Pettigen, Enolia Pettigen attended Frederick Douglass High School and later Howard University with the help of a scholarship from Alpha Kappa Alpha and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education in 1926.

She became a teacher in 1927 in Caroline County, Maryland. McMillan received a master's degree in 1933 from Columbia University. Her thesis was entitled Some Factors Affecting Secondary Education for Negroes in Maryland Counties (Excluding Baltimore).

She married Betha D. McMillan, Sr. in 1936. After retiring from teaching in 1968, she became president of the NAACP from 1984 to 1990.

Pettigen McMillan died October 24, 2006, in Stevenson, Maryland from heart failure just four days after celebrating her 102nd birthday.


  • Frances N. Beckles. "Enolia Pettigen McMillan" in 20 Black Women: A Profile of Contemporary Black Maryland Women. Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1978. pp. 92–99
  • Adam Bernstein. "". The Washington Post, October 26, 2006 p. B7
  • "Enolia Pettigen McMillan" in Notable Black American Women, Gale Research, 1992. ISBN 978-0787664947
  • Nicole Fuller and Kelly Brewington. "‘Matriarch of NAACP’ dies at 102". The Baltimore Sun, October 25, 2006 p. 1A, 9A
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