Statement by the President on the Passing of Dr. George Cooper
Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. George Cooper, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As a native of Tallahassee, FL, George’s love of education and HBCUs began as a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, continuing his education at Tuskegee University and receiving his Ph. D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana. George spent the majority of his life ensuring that students at our nation’s HBCUs were receiving a quality education and had the necessary resources to succeed and make their communities and our country better. He served on the faculty at several universities including Alabama A&M University, Tuskegee University and as President of South Carolina State University. His service extended beyond working with students at institutions. For 17 years, he worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, ensuring that HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions were receiving adequate resources to strengthen research and academic programs. George’s passing is a great loss for my Administration, the HBCU and higher education communities and for everyone that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Diane, family and friends during this difficult time.