Joseph S. Dunning, 1937
Joseph Samuel Dunning '37 earned his Bachelor's in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering (Course XVI) in 1937. He also earned advanced degrees at Harvard University and Stanford University, becoming the first black aeronautical engineer in the United States.
...one colored man, an aeronautical engineer, and a graduate of [MIT] in Boston and Stanford [U]niversity in Palo Alto, California, had been accepted as a “probationary employe[e]” by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles...at least [his] initial efforts have not been rebuffed as in the past. However, there is as yet no indication that the vast national defense program of the United States will include the Negro as employe[e]s in factories, mechanics and helpers in the huge ground crews for airplanes, or by enlistment in all the branches of the armed forces.
The Crisis, Vol 47, Iss 7 (July 1940), p. 1
In 1940, Dunning began his career with the Douglas Aircraft Company, a division of the McDonnell Douglas Company, in Long Beach, CA. He contributed to the development of aircraft, such as the world renowned DC aircraft lines DC-3 to DC-10, and worked on the company's supersonic transport program. By his retirement in 1979, Dunning was Vice President of Administration.
Dunning was also an active executive member of the NAACP.