John Berry, the first African American faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi, died last month in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He was 88 years old.
A native of Brookhaven, Mississippi, he was drafted into the Army while in high school and served overseas during World War II. After the war, he completed high school and earned a bachelor’s degree at what is now Alcorn State University.
Berry came to the University of Southern Mississippi as associate director of Title IV programs after serving as a public school administrator. In 1970 he joined the faculty as an instructor of student teaching and earned a doctorate there in 1976. Dr. Berry retired from the university in 1985 as an associate professor of educational leadership and research.