James R. Dumpson, the former dean of the Graduate School of Social Science at Fordham University and longtime administrator for the City of New York, died earlier this month after suffering a stroke. He was 103 years old. Dr. Dumpson was the oldest living alumnus of Cheyney University in Pennsylvania. He also held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the New School in New York City and a Ph.D. from the University of Dacca in Bangladesh.
A native of Philadelphia, Dumpson graduated from Cheyney University in 1932 and took a job teaching in a racially segregated school. He then began a career with the government of the City of New York that spanned more than 60 years, working in the administration of five different mayors.
In 1967 he was appointed dean of social work at Fordham, becoming the first African American dean of a predominantly white school of social work. He served until 1974 when he returned to city government as head of the New York City Human Resources Administration. He was a past president of the Council on Social Work Education.
An endowed chair at Fordham University now bears his name.