From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Clark, Yvonne Young

(born: 1929) 

Yvonne Young Clark is a pioneer for women engineers. She was the first woman to earn an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Howard University in 1951, and was the first woman to complete the masters degree in engineering management at Vanderbilt University. Clark was the first woman professor in the College of Engineering and Technology at Tennessee State University, teaching at the school for more than 50 years.

Prior to her move to Nashville, there had not been a professional African American woman engineer in the city. She was the first female engineer at the Ford Motor Company glass plant in Nashville, where she did a one year internship after her graduation from Vanderbilt University. Her after-college career began with Frankford Arsenal-Gage Laboratories in Philadelphia and RCA in New Jersey.

Clark has received a number of awards, including the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Society of Women Engineers in 1997. In 2008, an event was held at Tennessee State University to honor Clark for her years of dedication and service to the school.
Yvonne Young Clark was born in Houston, TX, and raised in Louisville, KY. She is the daughter of librarian Hortense Houston Young and Dr. Coleman M. Young, Jr. She is the wife of William F. Clark, Jr., who was a biochemistry professor at Meharry Medical College.

For more see "She is teaching Mechanical Engineering," Plaindealer (Topeka), 01/27/1956, p. 1; "Yvonne Young Clark of Nashville, Tennessee...," Jet, 09/30/1971, p. 48 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Yvonne Young Clark" in Sisters in Science, by D. Jordan.

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“Clark, Yvonne Young,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-06-08 18:24:40