Dickinson Alumna Becomes First Woman to Receive Navy Commission

Frances Lois Willoughby Naval Reserve Commission

The December 1949 Dickinson Alumnus documents a fellow alumna, Frances L. Willoughby '27, who was awarded a commission. However, Willoughby was not awarded just any kind of commission, but she received the honor of being the first woman doctor to receive a Navy Commission. She entered the Naval Reserve as a lieutenant in 1944, and appointed to permanent staff only 4 months after and in 1946 she achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After graduating from Dickinson, Willoughby went on to receive a medical degree from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine.