Despite winning almost every academic award in his graduating year, Ernest Everett Just was passed over as the commencement speaker. It just didn’t seem right to have the only black graduate address the crowd of parents and faculty at Dartmouth College in 1907. He began teaching English at Howard College and helped form the first black fraternity on campus. His real talents, however, lay in the field of biology. At the age of 31 he became the first recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal in recognition of his already impressive scientific achievements. Just’s race, however, proved a barrier to both his research and ability to move to a more prestigious (and better-funded) college. Much of his ground-breaking work was accomplished in Europe, where he faced less discrimination than at home. His contributions went largely unrecognized in the U.S. until well after his death in 1941.