In Memoriam: Elton C. Harrison, 1917-2014

Elton C. Harrison, a long-time university faculty member and administrator, died on September 20 at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 97 years old.

A native of Tylertown, Mississippi, Dr. Harrison graduated from Southern University in 1938. He went on to earn a master’s degree at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Ph.D. at Ohio State University.

Dr. Harrison began his academic career as a member of the mathematics faculty at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. He then had a long career as an administrator at Southern University in Baton Rouge. When he retired from Southern University as vice president for academic affairs in 1974, he took his talents to Dillard University in New Orleans, where he served as vice president and dean of the Graduate School.


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  1. Dr. Elton C. Harrison worked with me at Dillard University for five years during the Presidency of Dr. Samuel Dubois Cook. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar, as well as, an excellent higher education administrator who always was able to see the Big Picture regarding any issue that came up during our tenure at Dillard University.

    He also had a wry sense of humor and was able to tell countless stories and good jokes in any social setting.

    I can say, it has been a great honor to have worked with him and to have known him.


    The Reverend Graham P. Matthews, Ph.D

  2. There isn’t a day that I don’t think of my Grandfather, who I called “Papa”. My father, Maxwell Harrison Sr. passed away when I was just 3-years old and without a moments hesitation, Papa stepped in. He guided me with his words of wisdom and by example. He was my rock, inspiration and my mentor. The memories of my grandfather will forever rest in my heart until my demise. I pass as much as I can to my children Harrison, Carson, Trinity and Jackson! I pray that they would live beyond his expectations and that he looks down with pride. He deserves that much! My grandfather and his contagious laugh…I’ve noticed that my own laugh has been passed down to me. That in itself brings my heart joy. Now, as long as I’m alive I try my hardest to make him proud and I will continue to do so until we meet again. My grandfather was one in a million! To know him was to respect, admire and love him wholeheartedly!

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