January 8, 2010
Dear Howard University Community:
I am saddened to inform you of the passing of an esteemed member of our family, President Emeritus Dr. James Edward Cheek, who died today in Greensboro, N.C.
For two decades under Dr. Cheek’s leadership (1969-1989), Howard University experienced immense growth and modernization – with our student population increasing and the number of schools, colleges, research programs and faculty expanding. Dr. Cheek’s vision and passion for the University and his view of Howard as a national treasure led to bold action, which eventually resulted in a dramatic boost in our budget with increased federal support. The University built upon its international reputation and its legacy of social justice.
During his tenure as president, in 1983 he was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He served on the boards of several colleges and universities and was the recipient of hundreds of awards and nineteen honorary degrees for his contributions to higher education.
We honor his life and his contributions and we offer our sincere condolences to his wife Celestine, his two children – both Howard alums—James and Janet, and his entire family. His legacy will endure through this institution, as well as through the lives he has touched.
With warmest regards,
Sidney A. Ribeau
Funeral Arrangements for Dr. Cheek
Both wake and funeral services will be held at:
Providence Baptist Church
Funeral arrangements are being handled by:
Perry J. Brown Funeral Home
Transportation from Washington to Greensboro
To accommodate the interest of those who wish to travel to North Carolina, the Office of the President is sponsoring a bus to transport members of the University community (faculty, staff, retirees, and alumni) to the funeral service scheduled for Thursday, January 14 at noon.
The bus will depart promptly at 5 a.m., Thursday, January 14 from Cramton Auditorium and will return to Washington following the service. Seats for the bus are available on a first-come, first-served basis as the capacity of the bus is limited (maximum 55 passengers). Please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, January 13 at noon. Please contact Kim Banks at (202) 806-7194 or email email@example.com.
The family has also shared that persons traveling independently and have planned an overnight stay in Greensboro, N.C. can consider booking at the Downtown Marriott where a limited number of rooms are reserved for Howard-affiliated parties.
Memorial Service at Howard
An on-campus memorial service is being planned to celebrate the life of Dr. James E. Cheek. The details are forthcoming.
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