In Memoriam: Viralene Johnson Coleman, 1928-2020

Viralene J. Coleman, a former professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, died on September 20. She was 92 years old.

Professor Coleman served for 37 years as an English and literature teacher at the university. At the time of her retirement from the university, she was the chair of the department of English and mass communications.

A native of Waterloo, Arkansas, Coleman was the valedictorian of her high school class. She earned a scholarship to attend what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She went on to earn a master’s degree at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

After teaching at her undergraduate alma mater for several years, Coleman enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Arkansas. In 1969, she was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at the university.

Dr. Coleman taught at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for 37 years. The university established the Viralene J. Coleman Computerized Writing Center on campus in April 2003.

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