Margaret Wragg Sloss


Margaret Wragg Sloss

“Throughout her career [she] was the unappointed
but widely recognized leader of women in veterinary medicine.”– Dr. George Beran, 2005

Margaret Wragg Sloss, a pioneer in nontraditional careers for women, was born on October 28, 1901 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. An incredible leader for women in science, particularly veterinary science, and education, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Iowa State College in 1923, and a master’s degree in microscopic anatomy in 1932. In 1923, she became the first female staff member in Veterinary Medicine at ISU as a pathology laboratory technician. Sloss contributed to changing the admissions policy at the veterinary school to allow admission to women. She applied for admission into the doctoral program and was denied. She persisted and was allowed to enroll in classes following her research on land-grant admissions policies that stated admissions could not be refused based on sex. In 1938, Sloss became the first woman at Iowa State College to earn the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, the 27th in the USA. Although she taught at Iowa State College from 1941, she did not reach full professor until 1965. In 1940, Sloss was one of 100 women pursuing nontraditional careers who were invited by Carrie Chapman Catt to attend the Women’s Centennial Congress in New York City. She was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to the White House in 1944. She established the Women’s Veterinary Medicine Association in 1947 and served two years as its president. Sloss died December 11, 1979 and is interred in the Iowa State University cemetery. ISU named Margaret Sloss Women’s Center in her honor in 1981. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2006.