In Memoriam

Benjamin F. Holman (1930-2007)

Benjamin F. Holman, professor emeritus at the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, died last month at George Washington University Hospital from emphysema and congestive heart failure. He was 76 years old.

Holman was a native of Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from the University of Kansas and took a position as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. He later worked in television in Chicago and for both CBS and NBC.

In 1969 he was appointed by President Nixon as director of the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service. He served in that position throughout the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Holman joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1978 and was named a full professor one year later. Holman was the editor of the Faculty Voice, an independent newspaper at the University of Maryland. During this time he also was a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. Holman retired from teaching in 2004.

Winfred Bruce Welch (1918-2007)

Winfred B. Welch, professor emeritus of educational psychology at Virginia Union University, died last month at a hospice in Richmond. He was 88 years old.

Welch was hired by Virginia Union University in 1974 to form an undergraduate program in psychology. By his retirement in 1995, he led a department of five scholars who taught 130 undergraduate majors. He also served as director of the School of Education and as vice president of academic affairs.

Welch was a graduate of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. After graduation he began his career teaching in a one-room segregated schoolhouse. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from Indiana University. At one time, Welch served as a consultant to the minister of education for the nation of Azerbaijan.

Otis Wesley Smith (1925-2007)

Otis W. Smith, physician, civil rights activist, and philanthropist, died last month in Atlanta of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81 years old.

Smith was a graduate of Morehouse College. He then enrolled in Meharry Medical College but was on the verge of dropping out because he could not afford the tuition. Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse, intervened and provided Smith with a scholarship from an anonymous donor which enabled him to finish medical school. Smith later learned that the scholarship was provided by Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone With the Wind. Mitchell funded the graduate education of at least 40 Morehouse graduates.

Smith was a practicing pediatrician in Atlanta for 23 years. He also fought to desegregate area hospitals and he served as president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. Like Margaret Mitchell, he funded an anonymous scholarship for Morehouse College students.