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Statement by Peter McPherson, President of APLU and Juliette Bell, Chair of the Council of the 1890 Universities and President of University of Maryland, Eastern Shore on the Passing of HBCU Champion, Dr. George Cooper

On behalf of the Council of the 1890 Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), we express our deepest condolences on the loss of Dr. George Cooper, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). An esteemed champion for HBCUs, Dr. Cooper demonstrated tireless efforts in student success, funding allocations, federal government partnerships, and related endeavors to advance the mission of HBCUs and the constituents served.

Dr. Cooper acquired his formal education from land-grant institutions and enjoyed a formidable career within and on behalf of land-grant institutions. Beginning his undergraduate education at Florida A & M University and furthering his graduate education at Tuskegee University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he also held faculty and administrative appointments at Alabama A & M University, Tuskegee University, and South Carolina State University. He later held professional appointments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the White House.

Through his career preparation and trajectory, Dr. Cooper leaves a remarkable legacy in support of land-grant universities’ capacity to provide access and opportunities for the broader public. We salute the professional life of Dr. George Cooper and the contributions made to American land-grant universities.

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