Donald Henderson, the former provost at the University of Pittsburgh and the only African American to serve in the position, died on June 8 in Florida. He was 91 years old.
A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, Henderson grew up n Youngstown, Ohio. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and then used the G Bill to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Kent State Univerity in Ohio. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.
After earning his doctorate, Dr. Henderson taught at what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the University of Akron. He later served as director of experimental studies at Southern Illinois University. He returned to the University of Pittsburgh to serve as associate provost. In 1989, he was promoted to provost and served in that role until 1993. Serving in this role, Dr. Henderson was given special credit, among his many contributions, for his roles in helping establish the University Center for Social and Urban Research and in planning and developing the University Library System.
In 2001, the university established an endowed professorship in his honor. An endowed scholarship fund at the university also bears his name.