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1917 Two years after graduating with a master's degree from Columbia, Lucy Diggs Slowe became the first African-American female to win a national champion in any sport, claiming the title at the American Tennis Association (ATA) national tournament. She had a long-time association with Howard University in the nation's capitol. That was where she completed her undergraduate degree and was a founding member of the first Greek letter sorority for black women, Alpha Kappa Alpha. In 1922 she became the first dean of women at Howard, a position she held until her death in 1937. Three years later, Slowe Hall was named in her honor at Howard. There is also a Lucy Diggs Slowe Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

1918 Columbia University and the Ivy League had its first black basketball player, John Howard Johnson, who began competing in 1918. During his career with the Lions, Johnson was consistently ranked in the League top ten for scoring.

1931 One of the greatest basketball stars of his time, George Gregory, Jr., scored 155 points in 17 contests in his freshman season at Columbia to rank fourth in League. Gregory helped his team to two consecutive Ivy titles and two Eastern titles. He was named to the Helms Foundation All-America team in 1930-31, becoming the first African-American voted to college All-America status in basketball. He was joined on the All-America squad with John Wooden, the soon-to-be legendary UCLA coach. In his three-year career, Gregory, the second African-American to play at Columbia, recorded 509 points in 62 games. A graduate of DeWitt Clinton High in New York City, Gregory took an active role in the community after graduation and maintained a connection to athletics. He went on to become the director of what was then the largest youth project for African-Americans in the country - the Harlem Center for Children Aid Society ••• A versatile baseball player, Manuel Rivero played on the Columbia squad for three season during the 1930s. Rivero, a black Cuban, played third base, center field and pitched for the Lions during his career. Following his days at Columbia, Rivero had a long and distinguished career as the baseball coach for Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

1938 Columbia's Benjamin Washington Johnson put on a memorable show at the Millrose Games before 17,000 fans in Madison Square Garden. Johnson went 6.2, 6.1 and 6.0 in the 60-yard dash, tying the world record, then breaking it and breaking it again. One report was that Johnson had actually been clocked in 5.9, but the timers dismissed that because they didn't believe a human could run that fast. Voted the outstanding performer by a panel of eight sportswriters, Johnson was hailed as 'world's fastest human.' In 1935, Johnson had become the first black track athlete to be a Heptagonal Games first-team performer. Two years later, Johnson would win the NCAA 200-meter dash championship with a time of 21.3 seconds.

1939 Edwin Bancroft Henderson, who earned a doctorate from Columbia Teacher's College in 1934, authors the first significant book -- The Negro In Sports -- on the black athlete. Henderson would author his final book on the subject in the mid-1970s, while in his early 90s.

1945 In the first game ever using a three-point shot, Norman Skinner hit three of the bonus bombs en route to a game-high 26 points in a Columbia victory over Fordham. It would be 35 years until another three-point shot was made in the college game and 41 years until the three-point shot became a part of the college game.

1947 Rev. John Howard Johnson, who was a basketball standout for the Lions in the early 1920s, is named as the commissioner of the Negro Leagues the same year Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rev. Johnson's New York legacy is Harlem's St. Martin's Parish.

1949 Albert Holland was elected as the team captain for the Lions' track and field team after breaking school records dating back to the 19th century in the quarter-mile. Holland graduated from Columbia Law School in 1952 and served the New York City community for four decades before passing on in 1993.

1953 Competing in an event that wasn't a yearly collegiate event until the early 1960s, George Shaw won the 1952 NCAA triple jump championship. Until the early 1960s, the NCAA contested the event only during Olympic years. Shaw would also make an appearance in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. In 1953, he became the 1953 AAU champion and went on to compete in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

1970 Basketball player Jim McMillian became the first African-American Ivy Leaguer to be chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft and would be joined by Penn's Corky Calhoun in 1972 and Princton's Armond Hill in 1976. He also became Columbia's all-time leading scorer with 1,759 career points.

1975 Running back Doug Jackson became the first African-American to win the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the Ivy football player of the year.

1978 Mike Wilhite breaks Lou Gehrig's 55-year-old Columbia home run record with his eighth of the season and 16th of his career. Wilhite's skill was not limited to power as his held the Lion records for triple and stolen bases as well. In 1977 he was the first African-American to be chosen as first-team All-EIBL (which included the Ivies as well as Army and Navy).

1983 George Starke became a Super Bowl champion as the Head Hog of the Washington Redskins.

1984 Solomon Gayle became the first African-American to be named the Ivy League men's soccer Player of the Year.

1986 Phil Williamson became the first black men's tennis player named first-team All-Ivy League.

1988 Fencer Bob Cottingham, of Orange, N.J., won the NCAA title in the sabre.

1993 Buck Jenkins broke Jim McMillian's Columbia career scoring record and ended his career with 1,766 points. Jenkins scored 47 against Harvard as a sophomore.

1996 Armond Hill, the first African-American in Princeton's history to be named as an Ivy League Player of the Year, became the the first black head men's basketball coach at Columbia.

1998 H. Roy Williams, one of the globe's most renowned humanitarians, was appointed Director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Bureau for Humanitarian Response (BHR/OFDA), of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Williams was a track standout and played football for Coach Lou Little in Morningside Heights in the early 1950s.

1999 The Ivy League celebrated its 25th year of women's championships during the 1998-99 academic year. In honor of the many women who have excelled in their sport, the League announced its Silver Anniversary Honor Roll. Twelve African-American women were named to the list. Teri Martin '96-C and Heather Ruddock '88-C, both outstanding track and field athletes were honored.

2000 Just a junior, Johnathan Reese broke Columbia's career rushing record, which had stood for more than 50 years.

2001 Women's lacrosse star Bola Bamiduro makes a difference both on the field and off it. She served as the Chair of the Division I NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In that role, she conveyed the ideas and opinions of all Division I student-athletes to the Management Council, the group of athletic administrators responsible for much of the decision-making within the NCAA. She also served as the media contact for the national SAAC, serving as the "official voice" for NCAA student-athletes. After the season, Bamiduro became the first African-American from Columbia to be named as an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship recipient.

2002 Marcellus Wiley plays in the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii, representing the San Diego Chargers. In 1997, Wiley had become just the second Ivy African-American to be picked by the second round of the NFL Draft (joining Yale's Calvin Hill, who was a first-rounder in 1969.) ••• Fencer Erinn Smart, a recent Columbia graduate, was the 2002 U.S. National Champion in the women's foil and the 2002 Div. I National Championships bronze medalist. Smart was also a 2001 U.S. Senior Worlds bronze medalist, a 2000 Div. I National Championships silver medalist, and a member of the 2001, 1999, 1998 World Senior Team.

2003 Columbia named Joe Jones as its new basketball coach, replacing Armond Hill. Jones' brother, James, is the head coach at Yale, making them the first African-American brothers to be head coaches in the same Division I conference at the same time. In fact, it marked the first time since 1957 that any conference had brothers as head coaches (Clarence and Hank Iba in the Missouri Valley Conference).

2004 Freshman Erison Hurtault, of Aberdeen, N.J., took on the nation's finest in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Championships after an amazing run. Already a two-time Heps champ, Hurtault has run sub-47 the last three times in stepped on the track, including a school-record 46.33 at the NCAA Regional. He is the lone athlete in school history to break 47 seconds ••• Michael Quarshie had a strange trip from Helsinki, Finland, to New York to play for the Columbia Lions. But he became such a defensive force in 2004, no one cared about his journey anymore. By the end of the season, Quarshie, who led the nation in tackles for a loss for much of the year, was first-team All-Ivy, Academic All-Ivy and All-District and he earned a rare postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. Quarshie delayed his studies to serve on the Oakland Raiders practice squad in 2005.

2005 Now a sophomore, Erison Hurtault shared the Athlete of the Meet honors at the men’s indoor Heps. Hurtault won the 400-meter dash in 47.07, shattering the 24-year-old meet record. One week later, Hurtault lowered his 400 time to 46.72, 17th-best in the nation at that point in the season ••• On Dec. 11, 2005, former Connecticut offensive coordinator Norries Wilson was named as head football coach, making him the first black head football coach in the 50-year history of the Ivy League. The move also makes Columbia one of only three schools in Division I — apart from the historically black colleges — with a black head football and basketball coach. The Lions, with Joe Jones at the helm for hoops, join the University of Washington and Buffalo in that too-small club.