Katie Washington is the First Black Valedictorian at Notre Dame

Katie Washington of Gary, Indiana is a biological science major at the University of Notre Dame. By all indications, she will be the Fighting Irish's first Black valedictorian.

Notre Dame officials say they do not keep records on the race of previous students who've ended up at the top of their classes, but university spokeswoman Julie Flory told the Northwest Indiana Times ,"I personally don't recall us having a black valedictorian before."

"I am humbled. I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now," she told the paper.
She underscores that she did not get to this point by herself saying, "I have had so much support, people who really wanted to see that I reached my full potential. They all had my best interest at heart."

Her mother, Jean, is a nurse and her father, William, is a doctor, so Katie's choice to pursue medicine isn't a total surprise.

During her time at Notre Dame, she also pursued a minor in Catholic Teaching. In addition to her 4.0 grade point average, she's conducted research on lung cancer and co-authored a paper with David Severson, professor of biological sciences.

She plans to pursue a joint M.D./Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University.

Photo: Matt Cashmore/Northwest Indiana Times