Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook: 1928 - 2017

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion mourns the loss of Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, who died on Monday, May 29, 2017. He was 88.


Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook

Dr. Cook received both his master’s and doctoral degree from The Ohio State University in Political Science. While studying for his doctorate in the 1950s, Dr. Cook met Dr. Frank W. Hale Jr., and the two developed a life-long friendship. Both went on to become presidents at HBCUs: Dr. Cook at Dilliard University and Dr. Hale at Oakwood University.

In the 1990s, the Young Scholars Program (YSP) was transferred to the then Office of Minority Affairs. A faculty and student committee was formed to examine the structure of YSP, and the committee recommended that the Summer Institute component of the program be named in honor of a distinguished person in higher education. Dr. Cook was the unanimous choice, and the Summer Institute was renamed the Samuel DuBois Cook Summer Academy in his honor.

Along with having his name associated with YSP, Dr. Cook also spent many summers during the Summer Academy mentoring Young Scholars and was a firm supporter of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In addition, he sent many potential graduate students to Ohio State through the Graduate and Professional Student Visitation Days founded by Dr. Hale.

In the commencement address he gave on December 11, 1992, Dr. Cook told Ohio State graduates that their lives were going to have a “significant and lasting qualitative impact on other lives and on society in general” and asked the graduating class what they were going to do with the light within themselves. He continued: “If you have no deep and abiding commitment to your personal and social responsibilities to make this world better for all of God’s children, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, ethnicity, nationality, culture, socio-economic condition, or educational predicament, then that light within you is dark.”

A legendary figure in higher education, Dr. Cook was – and will continue to be – a guiding light advancing diversity and excellence at The Ohio State University and beyond.