Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the Death of Dr. George Cooper, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the Death of Dr. George Cooper, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

July 20, 2015

I was deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Dr. George Cooper. Dr. Cooper made a tremendous contribution that has benefited countless students in a full and extraordinary career. Dr. Cooper made a tremendous contribution that has benefited countless students in a full and extraordinary career. Throughout his life, Dr. Cooper was committed to promoting excellence, innovation, and sustainability across our nation’s HBCUs. Dr. Cooper provided the wisdom and direction needed to form important partnerships between HBCUs and the federal government. He was staunchly committed to student development and success.

This Administration has truly benefited from Dr. Cooper's leadership and will continue our service and advocacy for HBCUs in a manner that follows his passion, persistence, and humility. Like everyone here who had the opportunity to work with him, I was touched by his kindness, integrity, wisdom, and commitment. Although he will be sorely missed, his legacy will live beyond him. On behalf of the entire Department, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Diane, his children, and the entire Cooper family.