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Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, Past President of Dillard University, Dies at 88

Dillard University Communications and Marketing

Dillard University Communications and Marketing

Dr. Samuel DuBois CookDr. Samuel DuBois Cook, the fourth president of Dillard University from 1974 to 1997, transitioned on May 29. He was 88. The service is in the Ray Charles Center on the campus of Morehouse College in Atlanta on June 6, 2017 at 11 a.m.


Dr. Cook was highly regarded as a political scientist, scholar, educator, author, teacher, administrator, civil and human rights activist and public servant.

Born in 1928 in Griffin, Ga., he was the son of  Rev. and Mrs. M. E. Cook. He received a A.B. degree from Morehouse College in 1948 and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. Cook taught at Southern University, Atlanta University, the University of Illinois, UCLA and Duke University, where in 1966, he became the first African-American to hold a regular and/or tenured faculty appointment at a predominantly white southern college or university. He served 22 and a half years as president of Dillard University and when he retired in 1997, the University's board of trustees elected Dr. Cook President Emeritus.

During Cook’s tenure, the University’s curriculum was strengthened and expanded and the number and percentage of faculty members holding doctoral degrees was increased. Moreover,  he raised the requirements for admission, increased student enrollment by 50 percent, raised significant funds to improve the campus and facilities, and expanded student services. In 1989, Cook created the Dillard University National Conference on Black-Jewish Relations, the only one of its kind.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Dr. Cook was a Korean War veteran and a former ordained deacon at White Rock Baptist Church in Durham, N.C. He holds honorary degrees from Morehouse College, The Ohio State University, Dillard University, Illinois College, Duke University, the University of New Orleans and Chicago Theological Seminary. He was initiated in the the Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., at Morehouse and was a member of the  Eta Omega Chapter in Atlanta.


Dr. Cook is survived by Mrs. Sylvia F. Cook, his wife for over 50 years; Samuel DuBois Cook Jr., and Karen J. Cook and grandchildren Alexandra Renee Cook and Samuel DuBois Cook III. He and his family are longtime members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.  

L. Kasimu Harris 
Assistant Director of Communications & Marketing
2601 Gentilly Blvd. 
New Orleans, LA 70122
504.816.4328 phone
504.416.5519 mobile


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