Louise Gopher

Louise Gopher

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Louise Gopher is a member of the following lists: People from Okeechobee County, Florida, People of Seminole descent and 1945 births.

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Louise Jones Gopher is the second Seminole (after Billy Cypress) and first woman from the Seminole tribe of Florida to earn a bachelor's degree. Gopher, a former director of education for the Seminole Tribe of Florida of Florida, was the first female Seminole to earn a bachelor's degree when she graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 1970. Born May 25, 1945 in a chickee at a tribal camp in Fort Pierce, Jones spoke no English when she entered school at age 6. Because they were considered neither black nor white, none of the segregated schools of the day would willingly take her as a student, but at the pleading of her father (who spoke, read, nor wrote any English), Lucie County Schools Superintendent Ben L. Bryan chose to allow her to enroll in the Fairlawn School. In 2014, she was granted an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Florida State University. She is the third Seminole to receive an honorary degree from FSU, after Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (Doctorate of Humane Letters) and Jim Shore (Doctor of Laws). The Palm Beach Post named her one of the most 100 influential people in Florida in the 20th century.

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