In Memoriam

Elizabeth Pegues-Smart (1931-2009)

Elizabeth Pegues-Smart, former president of the Minnesota State University system, died of congestive heart failure in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She was 77 years old.

Growing up in Iowa, she was one of six African Americans at an 800-student high school. There, her guidance counselor refused to let her enroll in college preparatory classes because he believed it was pointless for a black girl to do so.

She married an Air Force man and the couple was stationed in Europe. During this time Pegues-Smart enrolled in the Sorbonne and the Liverpool Conservatory of Music.

Returning to the states, she was hired as a clerical worker and eventually worked her way up to an executive position. She was elected to the board governing Minnesota state universities in 1981 and served until 1995. She was the board’s president from 1991 to 1995.

Charles Pickett Sr. (1938-2009)

Charles Pickett Sr., who had a 45-year career in higher education, was killed in an automobile crash in Copiah County, Mississippi, after celebrating his 71st birthday with friends and family.

Dr. Pickett taught at several colleges and universities, most recently at Mississippi Valley State University, where he chaired the department of chemistry and physics. He had served as the commissioner of academic affairs for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Professor Pickett held a doctorate in physics education from the University of Southern Mississippi.