James Donalson                                                         by Brandan Pippens    

James Ashley Donaldson was born in Madison County, Florida, in 1941 to Audrey Brown and Oliver Donaldson., He had three sisters and seven brothers. His uncle, Enoch Donaldson taught him how to read, write, and calculate long before he entered elementary school. Ms. Lennie L. Collins taught him in  grades one through four and  Mrs. Alma Jean McKinney taught him in grades five through eight  at the rural two-room school.  His Uncle Enoch, these two teachers and later his high school mathematics teacher, Mrs. Juanita Miller, were great influences on his early life. 

Mrs. Miller encouraged Donaldson to go north for his college education. As a result of her recommendation and assistance, Donaldson entered Lincoln University near Oxford, Pennsylvania in 1957. 

Initially, Donaldson was unsure of the course of study he would pursue in college.  The teaching style of mathematics  Professor James Frankowsky  greatly contributed to his decision to major in Mathematics. Ii 1961, he graduated from Lincoln University with an AB degree in Mathematics. 

Professor Frankowsky encouraged him to pursue a graduate degree in Mathematics. Donaldson enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Donaldson received the MS degree in Mathematics in 1963, and the Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1965.  He has lectured widely on his research in North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. He joined the faculty at Howard Unviersity in 1971. He was chairman of the department from1972 until 1990.  

Dr. Donaldson is active in many professional mathematics and science organizations.  He has also served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, the Sloan Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, several state boards of education,  and the D.C. Public School System.  In Fall 1998, Dr. Donaldson was appointed Acting President at his alma mater, Lincoln University .