President Emeritus of Harris-Stowe State University, Dr. Henry Givens, Jr., unexpectedly passed away July 20, 2021. He was 90 years when he passed on.
Dr. Givens, born in St. Louis native, had been a pioneer for education and public servant. In 1979, he became president of what would become Harris-Stowe State College some years later and a university in 2005.
At the request of the Governor of Missouri, Dr. Givens served as interim president at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, during a financial crisis in 1987, while continuing his duties at Harris-Stowe. Such an appointment was without precedent in Missouri public higher education.
Dr. Givens retired from HSSU in 2011 as the longest-serving president of any university in Missouri – leading HSSU for 32 years. Under his leadership, the university tripled its student population, grew from one building with only one degree to eight facilities and 14-degree programs, became one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities under the U.S. Department of Education, and changed its status from College to University.
Dr. Givens served on several boards and was affiliated with national and local professional and social organizations. He has received over 125 national, state, and local awards and recognitions, including honorary doctorate degrees from Saint Louis University, Lincoln University, and Washington University-St. Louis.
He is survived by his wife Belma, daughter Stacey Woolfolk, son Keith Givens (Vivian), and three grandchildren, Brittney Givens, Ashley Givens and Jarrett Woolfolk.
Our thoughts are with his family. Further details would be revealed in due time.
Tributes And Condolences
Tributes and condolences are being shared across social media timelines over the passing of Givens Jr. It is with a deep sense of loss that friends and families mourn their beloved one who has died unexpectedly.
It is in the spirit of this mourning that we extend our condolences to the family of Givens Jr and everyone affected by the passing.
Dr. Henry Givens, Jr Obituary
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