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File #: RS2021-1058    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 7/8/2021 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 7/20/2021 Final action: 7/20/2021
Title: A resolution honoring the life of Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, former Tennessee State University President.
Sponsors: Sharon Hurt, Kyonzte Toombs
A resolution honoring the life of Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, former Tennessee State University President.

WHEREAS, Dr. Frederick S. Humphries passed away on June 24, 2021 at the age of 85, and is remembered as a stalwart of higher education and a staunch advocate for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); and
WHEREAS, Humphries grew up in the small town of Apalachicola, Florida where he attended the all-Black Wallace M. Quinn High School and was one of only nine graduates in the class of 1953; and
WHEREAS, after graduating high school, Humphries went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in chemistry from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1957 and was also a distinguished military science graduate. It was reported that Frederick was the first Black officer to be commissioned into the Army Security Agency (Army Intelligence Branch); and
WHEREAS, after serving in the Army for two years, Frederick became a teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate research fellow the following year, eventually becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the university; and
WHEREAS, Frederick Humphries' academic achievements did not go unnoticed and led the Tennessee Board of Regents to name him as President of Tennessee State University (TSU) in 1974, a position he held until he was appointed to lead his alma mater (FAMU) in 1985; and
WHEREAS, during his time at TSU, Humphries' administration skills resulted in improved and expanded academic programs, upgraded faculty, increased enrollment and quality of students, and expanded scholarships and support activities; and
WHEREAS, notably, Humphries strongly advocated for the rights of TSU, a historically Black university, when he insisted on its predominance over the University of Tennessee at Nashville (UTN) during the landmark court case. This ultimately led to the merger of TSU and UTN, with TSU becoming the surviving institution...

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