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Henrietta Duterte Scholarship Fund

Support students studying Mortuary Science

CCBC has partnered with the nonprofit The Order of the Good Death to raise funds for students enrolled in CCBC’s Mortuary Science program in honor of Henrietta Duterte, the first female funeral homeowner in the United States.

Ms. Duterte was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was one of 13 children born to John and Henrietta Smith Bowers, who were natives of Baltimore, MD.

In 1858 after Ms. Duterte’s husband’s death, Henrietta took over his funeral home and conducted business under her own name. Henrietta used the success of her funeral business to fund organizations in the Black community, including aid societies for formerly enslaved people. Duterte was also an abolitionist, philanthropist and activist.

As an agent for the Underground Railroad, she would hide enslaved people in coffins and move them through the city, disguised as part of a funeral profession. Henrietta was committed to reforming both the funeral industry and society-at-large. It’s her forward-thinking, community-minded principles that make her the ideal face of this scholarship for students in Mortuary Science.

Contact us.

Sandy Myers

Director, Advancement Services and Donor Relations