Since its formation in 1983, the W. E. B. Du Bois Graduate Society has worked to create inclusive educational environment for historically underrepresented minorities in GSAS. Named after the eminent African-American scholar and civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University (in 1895), the Society serves as a forum for students to meet and raise concerns about race and ethnicity and provides a social, intellectual, and political institution for minority student activities. It has acted as an umbrella organization to serve the needs of African American, Puerto Rican, Mexican American, and Native American graduate students. Over the years, the goals of the Society have been expanded to include fostering interactions with Harvard's minority faculty and administrators bringing together students from the various departments in GSAS and other graduate schools in the Harvard community, and encouraging more minority undergraduates to consider a career in academia.