In Memoriam

Zenobia Lawrence Hikes (1955-2008)

Zenobia Lawrence Hikes, vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech, has died from complications after undergoing open heart surgery. She was 53 years old.

Dr. Hikes came to Virginia Tech in 2005 after serving as dean of students at Spelman College. At Virginia Tech she had authority over 15 university departments and more than 2,000 employees. She is credited with playing a major role in bringing together the university community in the days following the massacre of more than 30 Virginia Tech students on April 16, 2007.

A 1977 graduate of Spelman College, Dr. Hikes held a master’s degree from Georgia Southwestern University and an educational doctorate from the University of Delaware.

Alex Rivera (1913-2008)

Alex Rivera, one of the most celebrated photographers of the civil rights era and a long-time administrator at North Carolina Central University in Durham, has died at the age of 95.

A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Rivera was the son of a dentist and civil rights activist. After graduating from Howard University, he was recruited to start up a news bureau at what was then called the North Carolina College for Negroes.

After serving in the military in World War II, Rivera worked as a photojournalist for several black-owned newspapers, criss-crossing the South covering civil rights protests, lynchings, and the desegregation of public schools.

He returned to North Carolina Central University in 1977 as director of the Office of Public Relations. He remained in that role until his retirement in 1993 at the age of 80.

In 1993 Rivera was presented with the Order of the Longleaf Pine, the highest civilian honor given by the state of North Carolina.