Alumni Dinner, Westfield Normal Alumni Association of Eastern Massachusetts, Copley Square Hotel, 1907
Samuel E. Courtney, second from right at the round table in the foreground, was born in Malden, West Virginia in 1861. His father was a wealthy white planter and his mother was his father’s slave. Courtney attended public schools in Malden, and then entered the Hampton Institute where he received a degree in 1879. He then attended the Westfield State Normal School for further education, graduating in 1885. He served as a teacher of mathematics at the Tuskegee Institute and then went to Boston and entered Harvard Medical School in 1888, graduating in 1894. He became a prominent physician in Boston, and member of the Boston School Committee. Courtney also served multiple terms as Vice President of the National Medical Association and co-founded the National Negro Business League. He was a close personal associate of Booker T. Washington and a prominent leader in the African American community. Courtney Hall on the Westfield State University campus is named in his honor.