In Memoriam: Benjamin Franklin Payton, 1932-2016

payton_use1Benjamin Payton, the fifth president of Tuskegee University in Alabama, died in Fort Meyers, Florida, on September 28. He was 83 years old.

Dr. Payton served as president of Tuskegee University from 1981 to 2010. He was named president emeritus in 2010. Before being named president of Tuskegee University, Dr. Payton was program officer for higher education and research at The Ford Foundation in New York City. Earlier, Dr. Payton served as president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, from 1967-1972. Dr. Payton’s first job in academia was assistant professor of the sociology of religion and social ethics at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Payton, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with honors from South Carolina State University in 1955. He earned a second master’s degree at Harvard University in 1958, a master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia University in 1960, and the Ph.D. degree in ethics from Yale University in 1963.


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