Mazie Smith Purdue came to Erie in 1923 with her parents and four brothers. Her parent’s driving motivation in moving to Erie was so their children could get a good education—a decision that produced not only the educator Mazie, but a judge, an attorney, an engineer, and an architect. Mazie attended Penn School, Strong Vincent High School, Kutztown University, Villa Maria College, and Gannon University. Mazie became a registered nurse, working at the Erie Geriatric Hospital. While raising two sons, Mazie became deeply involved in the community, helping to establish the following: local chapters of the National Council of Negro Women and Negro Business and Professional Women, as well as various after-school, summer lunch and self-esteem programs at Shiloh Baptist Church. In addition, she helped lead Women of Color and the Erie chapter of the Pennsylvania Conference on Black Basic Education. Ms. Smith-Purdue served as a nurse, social worker, executive director of Child-Development Center of BTW, a home school visitor, Executive Director of a family planning program, and operated a 24-hour nursery for pre-school children. AND she served for years on the Erie School Board.