National Institute on Aging

In Memoriam

Matthew J. Perry (1921-2011)

Matthew J. Perry, civil rights leader and the first African-American federal judge in South Carolina, died late last month at his home in Columbia. He was 89 years old.

Perry worked on the day that he died in the federal courthouse that bears his name.

Perry was a graduate of South Carolina State University and the short-lived segregated law school which was established on that campus. During the civil right era, it is estimated that Perry successfully appealed 7,000 convictions of civil rights protesters in the federal courts. He was instrumental in the legal proceedings that ended racial segregation at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

Dawn Della DeVeaux (1962-2011)

Dawn Della DeVeaux, university omsbud officer for students at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, died late last month at the age of 49.

Dr. DeVeaux was a graduate of Howard University. She earned a master’s degree in mass communications from Austin Peay State University in Clarkesville, Tennessee, and a doctorate in community college education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Dr. DeVeaux joined the faculty at Fort Valley State in 2005 as an assistant professor of fine arts. She also served as interim director for enrollment management and interim director of financial aid.


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  1. Rosa Bogar says:

    I most recently visited the Schomburg Center and shared with the new director,Dr Khlil Gibran Muhammad that I am most honored that the legacy of Hon. Matthew J. Perry Jr will live on through some of my papers on “Civil Rights Remembrance Day” at the Schomburg Center. Perry was the keynote speaker for the historic celebration honoring pioneers of the Orangeburg Civil Rights Movement during the sixites.The event took place at Trinity United Methodist Church on May,4th 1997 in Orangeburg,South Carolina. I am a native of Orangeburg and the visionary of [CRRD] Thanks,Rosa Bogar

  2. Rosa Bogar says:

    South Carolina State University will have a memorial tribute for the late Hon. Matthew J.Perry Jr. I will be there in “spirit” Perry was the keynote speaker for “Civil Rights Remembrance Day” on May,41997 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Judge Perry stated,that he looked forward to seeing the many people he represented in the movement.I was so honored that he accepted my invitation to be the speaker for this historic celebration,which reunited pioneers for the first time in more than thirty years. Dr. Cleveland Sellers spoke as well. I think this was his first speech in Orangeburg,since the movement of the sixties. Perry’s legacy will live on through my collection on “Civil Rights Remembrance Day.” I am a native of Orangeburg,and the visionary of Civil Rights Remembrance Day. Thanks for allowing me to share TRUTH! Rosa Mavins Bogar

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