Lenore Schupak '74: First Woman to Receive An Undergraduate Degree From Stevens
When Lenore Harriet Schupak began Stevens in 1971 at the age of 16, she was among the first women undergraduates to be officially admitted to the university. By the time she graduated in 1974 as the first woman to receive an undergraduate degree, there were still only 50 female students enrolled in the total student body of approximately 1,500.
In 1974, The New York Times asked Schupak about being one of very few women on the Stevens campus. She replied that the experience would help her work in the predominantly male field of engineering that she was entering. She had long been interested in engineering: her father was a structural engineer, and a high school science project on solid-waste disposal confirmed her interest in the field.
“I was trying to find a use for refuse, and thought the only way that I could further the study was to go to an engineering school,” she said.
Schupak took extra courses and successfully completed Stevens in just three years, while also becoming incredibly active on campus. She performed well enough academically to be named to the Dean’s List; served as manager of the varsity women’s tennis and squash teams; joined the Yacht Club; and served as social chair of a religious organization on campus.
After graduating, Schupak took a position with the pathbreaking HVAC firm Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, New York. She would eventually move to General Motors, obtain multiple master's degrees, become president of her own environmental consultancy and work for several New Jersey-based legal firms, including as a managing director.
Quite a career — and it still continues — for one of Stevens' pioneering women scholars.