Dykes was born in Washington, D.C. on August 13, 1893. She graduated from
Howard University with a B.A. degree, summa cum
laude. She attended Radcliff College and received another B.A. degree,
magna cum laude, and an M.A. degree. In 1921, Eva received a Ph.D. degree
from the prestigious Radcliff College, specializing in English, Latin, German,
and Greek language studies. She was the
first African-American woman to complete the requirements for a doctoral degree
in the United States.
taught at Walden University in Nashville, Tennessee, Dunbar High School and
Howard University in Washington, D.C. At Howard she was voted "the best
all-around teacher by her faculty colleagues."
In 1944, she joined the faculty of Oakwood College in Huntsville,
Alabama, where she served as chair of the English Department and the Division
of Humanities. Her willingness to leave prestigious Howard University to
teach at Oakwood was a key point in the move toward accreditation for the small
left an indelible imprint on the lives of Oakwood’s young people for almost
four decades. Caring, but uncompromising in her teaching, she set a high
standard for her students and fellow instructors. A devout member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
she never missed an opportunity to help build faith in her students.
authored numerous articles and several books, including The Negro in English Romantic Thought. Dr. Dykes was also a
columnist for Message magazine for
many years. An outstanding pianist and organist, she founded the Aeolians
and gave the choral group its unique name.
1973, in recognition of her outstanding career as a dedicated educator and
mentor of young people, Dr. Dykes received the Certificate of Merit from the
Department of Education of the General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventist. Also in 1973, the newly completed Oakwood University Library
was named in her honor. In 1975, Dr, Dykes was recognized at the General
Conference session in Vienna,
her contribution to Christian education. Dr. Dykes taught for more than
50 years. She died on October 29, 1986 at the age of 93.