In Memoriam

Pinkie Gordon Lane (1923-2008)

Pinkie Gordon Lane, longtime professor and chair of the department of English at Southern University and former poet laureate of the state of Louisiana, died earlier this month. She was 85 years old.

A native of Philadelphia, Lane was a 1949 graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta. In 1956 she earned a master’s degree from Atlanta University. In 1967 Lane was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Lane’s first teaching job was at Leland College, a historically black college in Louisiana that no longer exists. In 1959 she joined the faculty at Southern University and taught there for nearly three decades. The author of eight books, including four volumes of poetry, Lane was Louisiana poet laureate in 1989.

Elsie Goodwyn Holland (1935-2008)

Elsie G. Holland, educator, politician, and university administrator, has died at the age of 72.

A native of McKenney, Virginia, Holland graduated from high school at the age of 15. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Virginia State University. In 1975 she completed a doctorate in elementary education at the University of Virginia.

Holland taught in public schools throughout the state and was later supervisor for the Virginia Department of Education. She served on the board of visitors at both Virginia State University and the University of Virginia.

Holland was active in Republican Party politics and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1996.