James E. Conyers Sr., the first African American faculty member at what is now Indiana State University, died on March 10. He was 89 years old.
A native of Sumter, South Carolina, born to college-educated parents, Professor Conyers was a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he majored in sociology. He earned a master’s degree at Atlanta University and after serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Conyers earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Washington State University.
In 1962, Dr. Conyers joined the faculty at what was then Indiana State College. He was the first African American to do so. Two years later he was named an associate professor at Atlanta University but returned to Indiana State in 1968 as a full professor. He taught at Indiana State for 28 years, retiring in 1996.
Dr. Conyers was the author or co-author of several books. For his scholarly work, he was the recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Award from the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists and the distinguished Scholar Award from the Association of Black Sociologists.