In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Rita Roberts Jones, 1934-2019

In Memoriam: Rita Roberts Jones, 1934-2019

Rita R. Jones, former dean of women at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, passed away on July 3, 2019. She was 85 years old. Jones began her career at Oakwood University in 1972 as dean of freshman women. In 1978, she left Oakwood to become associate dean of women at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, […]

In Memoriam: Floyd L. Robinson

In Memoriam: Floyd L. Robinson

Floyd L. Robinson was the former band director, professor, and administrator at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Upon his retirement in 2001, the university renamed its fine arts auditorium in his honor.

In Memoriam: Wright Lassiter Jr., 1934-2019

In Memoriam: Wright Lassiter Jr., 1934-2019

Dr. Lassiter was appointed chancellor of Dallas County Community College District in 2007. He was the first African American to hold the position. Earlier in his career, Dr. Lassiter served for 20 years as president of El Centro College in Dallas.

In Memoriam: Tchet Dereic Dorman, 1965-2019

In Memoriam: Tchet Dereic Dorman, 1965-2019

Dr. Dorman most recently served as a senior consultant for the American Cancer Society. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dorman was director of student support services at Temple University in Philadelphia.

In Memoriam: Adelaide Cromwell, 1919-2019

In Memoriam: Adelaide Cromwell, 1919-2019

Dr. Cromwell first joined the Boston University faculty in 1951. Two years later, she co-founded the university’s African Studies Center. In 1969, she founded the university’s African American studies program, the country’s second such program and the first to offer a graduate degree in the subject.

In Memoriam: Byrdie Annette Larkin, 1952-2019

In Memoriam: Byrdie Annette Larkin, 1952-2019

Dr. Larkin joined the faculty at Alabama State University in 1977. At the time, she was the only women faculty member in the department of political science. She taught at the university for 39 years until her retirement in 2016.

In Memoriam: Niara Sudarkasa, 1938-2019

In Memoriam: Niara Sudarkasa, 1938-2019

In 1969, Dr. Sudarkasa joined the faculty at the University of Michigan. She was the first tenured African American faculty member at the university. In 1986, she was appointed the eleventh president of historically Black Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and served in that role for 12 years.

In Memoriam: Olivia Cousins, 1948-2019

In Memoriam: Olivia Cousins, 1948-2019

Olivia Cousins was a feminist scholar, African American historian, and long-time faculty member at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. She served on the faculty there for more than 30 years.

In Memoriam: Maurice Wilton Johnson Sr., 1943-2019

In Memoriam: Maurice Wilton Johnson Sr., 1943-2019

Johnson served for 10 years at Grambling State University in Louisiana, first as assistant director of bands and then director of bands.

In Memoriam: Walter Robinson, 1953-2019

In Memoriam: Walter Robinson, 1953-2019

Walter Robinson had retired from his position as associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at the University of California, Davis last September. He had a career in admissions and enrollment management in higher education that spanned nearly 40 years.

In Memoriam: Maurice Stallworth Cherry

In Memoriam: Maurice Stallworth Cherry

Dr. Cherry served as chaplain at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, from 1959 to 1975. While there, he and his wife, the late Dr. Joyce Cherry, served as professors. Additionally, he served as president of Texas College and was a professor at what is now Albany State University.

In Memoriam: Margaret Asalele Mbilzi-Sawerengera

In Memoriam: Margaret Asalele Mbilzi-Sawerengera

Dr. Mbilzi-Sawerengera, the wife of the Malawi ambassador to the United States, served as an associate professor of educational policy and research at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, an assistant professor of higher education at Northern Illinois University, and an assistant professor of foundations of education at the University of West Alabama.

In Memoriam: LaSalle Doheny Leffall Jr., 1930-2019

In Memoriam: LaSalle Doheny Leffall Jr., 1930-2019

LaSalle Leffall was a giant in African American education and was a leading cancer researcher. He chaired the department of surgery at the Howard University College of Medicine for a quarter century. Dr. Leffall was the first African American president of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons.

In Memoriam: Robert Wayne Bowles, 1943-2019

In Memoriam: Robert Wayne Bowles, 1943-2019

Robert W. Bowles was the former chair of the department of health and physical education and the former director of alumni affairs at Alcorn State University in Mississippi.

In Memoriam: William B. DeLauder, 1937-2019

In Memoriam: William B. DeLauder, 1937-2019

In 1987, Dr. DeLauder was named president of what was then Delaware State College. In 1993, the state General Assembly renamed the college as Delaware State University. Dr. DeLauder served as president until 2003.

In Memoriam: Shirley Bradley LeFlore, 1940-2019

In Memoriam: Shirley Bradley LeFlore, 1940-2019

In addition to serving as poet laureate for the city of St. Louis, LeFlore was an educator. She was the first African American assistant dean of students at what is now Webster University in Missouri.

In Memoriam: Onyekwere E. Akwari, 1942-2019

In Memoriam: Onyekwere E. Akwari, 1942-2019

Dr. Akwari was recruited to Duke after the university desegregated its hospital. He joined the faculty as an associate professor, making him the second African American tenure-track faculty member in the School of Medicine.

In Memoriam: Clifton Hennessee Kearney Sr., 1925-2019

In Memoriam: Clifton Hennessee Kearney Sr., 1925-2019

Clifton Hennesse Kearney Sr. was the director and coordinator of transfer students in the School of Engineering at Morgan State University. He served on the staff at the university for 31 years. He also chaired the Howard University Alumni Association.

In Memoriam: Martin Kilson, 1931-2019

In Memoriam: Martin Kilson, 1931-2019

Dr. Kilson first joined the faculty at Harvard in 1962 as a lecturer in government. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1967 and professor of government in 1969, making him the first Black full professor at Harvard.

In Memoriam: Leonard Lewis Brown, 1946-2019

In Memoriam: Leonard Lewis Brown, 1946-2019

Leonard Lewis Brown was an acclaimed saxophonist and associate professor emeritus of music and of African-American studies at Northeastern University in Boston. He served as co-director of the Afro-Caribbean Music Research Project and chair of the African American studies department at the university.

In Memoriam: Leonard "Chief" Tramiel, 1944-2019

In Memoriam: Leonard “Chief” Tramiel, 1944-2019

In 1973, Tramiel became director of university bands at Mississippi Valley State University. He retired from the university in 2013.

In Memoriam: Albert L. Walker, 1945-2019

In Memoriam: Albert L. Walker, 1945-2019

Dr. Walker was appointed president of Harris-Stowe State University in August 2011 and served in that role until his retirement in 2013. Earlier in his career, he served as president of Bluefield College in West Virginia.

In Memoriam: Donald Stewart, 1938-2019

In Memoriam: Donald Stewart, 1938-2019

Dr. Stewart served as the sixth president of historically Black Spelman College in Atlanta from 1977 to 1986. He left Spelman College to become president of The College Board.

In Memoriam: Lorraine Elizabeth Green Branham, 1952-2019

In Memoriam: Lorraine Elizabeth Green Branham, 1952-2019

A long-time journalist Lorraine Branham became dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York in 2008.

In Memoriam: Kavin Grant, 1981-2019

In Memoriam: Kavin Grant, 1981-2019

Kavin Grant, an associate professor of dance at Alabama State University, recently was killed in a car accident. Earlier in his career, he taught at West Chester University, Temple University, Penn State, the University of the Arts, the University of Akron, Rowan University, Muhlenberg College, and Jackson State University.

In Memoriam: Patricia Officer Evans, 1941-2019

In Memoriam: Patricia Officer Evans, 1941-2019

Patricia Officer Evans was a longtime educator who served as First Lady at Southwestern Christian College for more than a half century.

In Memoriam: Jean Fairfax, 1920-2019

In Memoriam: Jean Fairfax, 1920-2019

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Fairfax served as dean of women at what is now Kentucky State University in Frankfort and at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

In Memoriam: Oswald Perry Bronson, Sr., 1927-2019

In Memoriam: Oswald Perry Bronson, Sr., 1927-2019

Dr. Bronson served as the fourth president of what is now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 1975 until his retirement as president emeritus in 2004. Major fields of study at Bethune-Cookman increased from 12 to 37 during Dr. Bronson’s 29-year tenure as president.

In Memoriam: Josephus Olufemi Richards, 1942-2019

In Memoriam: Josephus Olufemi Richards, 1942-2019

In 1971, Dr. Richards began his career at the University of Massachusetts as an associate professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. He retired in 2002.

In Memoriam: Manderline W. Scales, 1927-2019

In Memoriam: Manderline W. Scales, 1927-2019

After 20 years in the public schools of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Scales joined the staff at historically Black Winston-Salem State University. She served as dean of women, director of student affairs and assistant vice chancellor of student affairs and development.

In Memoriam: Faye Elizabeth Coleman, 1940-2019

In Memoriam: Faye Elizabeth Coleman, 1940-2019

Faye Elizabeth Coleman joined the faculty at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1978 as an assistant professor. In 1980, she became director for the graduate program in medical laboratory sciences for students in several diagnostic professions. She retired in 2016.

In Memoriam: Feleta Wilson, 1945-2019

In Memoriam: Feleta Wilson, 1945-2019

Dr. Wilson, an associate professor of nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit, focused her academic research on patient education and patient health literacy to reduce health disparities and inequities in vulnerable populations.

In Memoriam: Yvonne Young Clark, 1929-2019

In Memoriam: Yvonne Young Clark, 1929-2019

In 1956, Professor Clark joined the faculty at what was then Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University in Nashville. Clark retired as a professor emerita in 2011 at what is now Tennessee State University after serving on the faculty for 55 years.

In Memoriam: T. Vaughn Walker, 1950-2018

In Memoriam: T. Vaughn Walker, 1950-2018

Dr. Walker was senior professor of Black church studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was the first tenured African American faculty member in the 150-year history of the seminary. He was also the first African American full professor.

In Memoriam: Rodney Kelvin Sisco, 1964-2018

In Memoriam: Rodney Kelvin Sisco, 1964-2018

Sisco was a 1984 graduate of Wheaton College, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Christian education. He joined the staff at the college after graduation and remained a member of the Wheaton community for the rest of his life.

In Memoriam: Irene Leota Moore Wright, 1927-2019

In Memoriam: Irene Leota Moore Wright, 1927-2019

Throughout her career, Dr. Wright held faculty positions as Atlanta University, Clark College, Spelman College, Tuskegee Institute, Albany State College, and Saint Louis University.