In Memoriam

Rebecca Sellars Clark (1915-2009)

Rebecca Clark, a long-time employee of the University of North Carolina who was considered the matriarch of the black community in Chapel Hill, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

Clark worked in various jobs at the university for as little as $7 a week. For much of her life she lived in a racially segregated community that was founded for blacks who were employed at the university. A political activist for more than 70 years, she was instrumental in building black political power in the community.

The laundry building where she worked at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is now named in her honor.

Colin O. Benjamin (1949-2009)

Colin O. Benjamin, the Anheuser-Busch Professor of Engineering Management at Florida A&M University, died earlier this month at the age of 59.

Professor Benjamin was a native of Georgetown, Guyana. He was a graduate of the University of the West Indies. He held a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of the West Indies. He also earned an MBA from Cranfield Institute of Technology in Britain.

Before joining the faculty at FAMU, Dr. Benjamin taught at the University of Missouri at Rolla and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Frank “Tick” Coleman (1911-2008)

Frank Coleman, former director of alumni relations and member of the board of trustees at Lincoln University, died of heart failure late last month at a hospital in Philadelphia. He was 97 years old.

Coleman was a native of South Philadelphia. In 1929 he was the first African American to play quarterback for the city’s Central High School. During his high school years, he became an Eagle Scout, one of only three African Americans in the nation at that time to achieve scouting’s highest rank.

Coleman went on to Lincoln University where he played football, wrestled, and was class president. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1935 and later earned a master of social work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Before returning to work at Lincoln University later in life, Coleman was a counselor for the Philadelphia public school system.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University in 1984.