Thyrsa Frazier Svager

Thyrsa Frazier Svager

Born in 1930, Thyrsa Frazier Svager achieved what few African-American women of her generation have in the field of education. A brilliant mathematician with a genius level IQ, Dr. Svager graduated from the Wilberforce University Preparatory Academy at the young age of 15. She attended Antioch College for her undergraduate studies and was one of only four African-American students at the time. Another student was her close friend, Coretta Scott King. Dr. Svager earned her master’s degree and doctorate from The Ohio State University, becoming the first African-American woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. She had a long and distinguished career at Central State University that began in 1954 as an assistant professor of mathematics and concluded upon her retirement in 1993 as provost and vice president for academic affairs.


After she passed away in 1999, her husband, Aleksandar Svager, established the Thyrsa Frazier Svager Scholarship Fund through the African-American Community Fund of The Dayton Foundation. To date, the fund has awarded scholarships totaling $67,000 to assist African-American women in completing their degrees in mathematics at an accredited college or university. In addition to making current gifts to the fund, Mr. Svager has made plans for a significant legacy gift after his lifetime.

The scholarship is for African-American women majoring in Mathematics and attending Central State University, Wilberforce University, Wright State University, the University of Dayton, Howard University or Spelman College.