In Memoriam

Lettie Jane Austin (1924-2008)

Lettie Jane Austin, who taught English at Howard University for more than 60 years, died after suffering a stroke. She was 83 years old.

A native of Joplin, Missouri, Austin was a 1946 graduate of Lincoln University, the historically black educational institution in Jefferson City. The next year, she earned a master’s degree in English at Kansas State University and then joined the faculty at Howard University in the nation’s capital.

In 1952 she received her doctorate in education at Stanford University. Dr. Austin then traveled to Europe as a Fulbright scholar. There she earned a second master’s degree at the University of Nottingham, this one in Elizabethan literature.

Returning to her teaching position at Howard, in 1964 she completed a third master’s degree, this time in psychology. Later, at the age of 64, she earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Howard.

Dr. Austin became a full professor at Howard in 1968. She continued teaching until just before her death.