*For the first time in the 168-year history of Notre Dame University, an African American has been crowned valedictorian.

“I am humbled,” said 21-year-old Gary, Indiana native Katie Washington to the Northwest Indiana Times. “I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now.”

Washington has been accepted to five schools, including Harvard, but the biology major and Catholic social teaching minor will take her 4.0 GPA to Johns Hopkins University next fall, where she plans to pursue a joint M.D./Ph.D.

“Katie works so hard,” Washington’s mother Jean Tomlin told the newspaper. “I told her when she went to Notre Dame, ‘You are representing your family, your church and the city of Gary. Make us proud.'”

University officials said they couldn’t recall ever having a black valedictorian, and don’t keep record of their race.

She has definitely made her family proud and is following in their footsteps. Her father is a doctor, her mother and sister are nurses, one brother is completing his residency and another brother works for British Petroleum.

“I have had so much support, people who really wanted to see that I reached my full potential,” Washington told nwitimes.com. “They all had my best interest at heart.”

Washington will address the class of 2010 at commencement on May 16.