Heeding Earhart’s advice, Stinson enrolled in high school physics courses to prepare for the engineering program at N. C. State College. When she refused a scholarship to Meredith College and started to enroll at State College, Stinson encountered resistance from Engineering School Dean Wallace C. Riddick. When Riddick would not accept her without junior standing, Stinson regained her Meredith scholarship, completed 48 semester hours in one year, and entered the State College engineering program in 1937. As Riddick reneged on his earlier promise, Stinson gained admission as a freshman. One of the few female students at the university and the only female student in the engineering program, Stinson graduated from N. C. State in 1941 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering with an aeronautical option. She was the first woman to graduate from the Engineering School and one of five women in the United States to earn a degree in engineering or architecture that year.
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