Former Bowie State University President Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Sr. has unfortunately passed away at the age of 101. Myers served as Bowie’s 4th president for 9 years from 1968-1977.
Over the weekend Bowie’s 10th and current President Dr. Aminta H. Breaux shared the sad news with the BSU community in a tweet.
“Under his leadership, the university saw tremendous growth in enrollment, curriculum enhancements and a new program in social work,” shared Breaux. “He also moved the university to the next level with the first offering of a graduate degree, the master of education, and establishment of a Graduate Division.”
A profile from the American Economic Association highlighted just how much Dr. Myers accomplished in his lifetime. He earned a PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 1949. In 1994, he received the National Economic Association’s Samuel Z. Westerfield Award, which is presented to Black economists every few years to honor their “distinguished service, outstanding scholarship, and achievement of high standards of excellence.”
He went on serve as an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, and a financial adviser to Latin American countries during the Kennedy Administration. He worked with U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Executive Order 12232, which created a federal program “… to overcome the effects of discriminatory treatment and to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black colleges and universities to provide quality education.” Myers served at Bowie State University both as an economics professor and as president.
After leaving Bowie, Myers continued to dedicate his time to advancing HBCUs. For over 20 years, he served as president of the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. He later focused his efforts on Minority Access, Inc. where he worked to diversify universities and corporate spaces.
Myers’ children were educated at HBCUs and have created their own legacies. After teaching at Morgan State University, his son and daughters all earned degrees from the HBCU. Myers’ son, Dr. Samuel Myers, Jr., is the Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. His daughter, Judge Tama Rose Myers Clark, was Morgan State University’s first female student government president, and became a successful district attorney.
A spring memorial service is currently being planned Dr. Myers, according to Bowie’s President Breaux. His family is also working to establish endowed scholarships in Dr. Myers’ name at both Bowie State University and Morgan State University.