Longtime educator and civil rights activist Dr. Frank W. Hale Jr., vice president emeritus at Ohio State University, died Wednesday of cancer, according to The Columbus Dispatch. He was 84.
A 54-year veteran of higher education, Hale spent 24 years at Ohio State where he spearheaded efforts that led to the school becoming a leading producer of minority Ph.D. students, according to a statement by the university. In addition to Ohio State, Hale worked at many schools, including Oakwood College in Alabama and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.
“We have lost one of the true giants of the Ohio State community,” President E. Gordon Gee said in a statement.
“Dr. Frank Hale was a scholar, teacher, researcher, administrator, civil rights pioneer. More than that, he was a force to be reckoned with who opened the doors of opportunity to underserved students through sheer force of his intellect and determination,” he said.
At Ohio State, Hale served as associate dean and chairman of the Fellowship Committee of the Graduate School from 1971 to 1978 and vice provost for the Office of Minority Affairs from 1978 to 1988. Hale is the founder of the Graduate and Professional Schools Visitation Days program, which was launched to boost the number of minorities seeking advanced degrees.
Through his efforts, nearly $15 million in graduate fellowships was provided to nearly 1,200 minority students, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Hale, who left Ohio State in 1988, returned to the university in 1999 as distinguished university representative and consultant for the office of the president, according to officials at the university. He helped launch the president and provost’s Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series, which draws prominent scholars and artists to the campus. He retired from Ohio State in 2005.
“A long-time activist, Dr. Frank W. Hale Jr., demonstrated courageous educational, religious and scholarly leadership in civil rights struggles,” Valerie Lee, vice provost for the office of diversity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer, said in a statement. “His life and legacy will inspire generations to come.”
In 2010, Hale was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame, The Columbus Dispatch reported.