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Dolores R. Spikes

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Information about Dolores R. Spikes

Profile image of Dolores R. Spikes

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Math Professor
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Sky Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere With Libraries
Favorite Quote:
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.

Birthplace

Born:
8/24/1936
Birth Location:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Math Professor
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Sky Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere With Libraries
Favorite Quote:
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.

Birthplace

Born:
8/24/1936
Birth Location:
Baton Rouge
See how Dolores R. Spikes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Esteemed college professor and mathematician Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes was born on August 24, 1936 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Margaret and Lawrence Richard. She received her elementary and high school education by attending Baton Rouge’s parochial and public school systems. Throughout her youth, Spikes’ parents strongly advocated the value of a college education and upon her enrollment at Southern University in 1954, her father volunteered for overtime hours at his job to help pay for her expenses. She went on to earn her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1957 from Southern University where she was initiated as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and met her future husband, Hermon Spikes.

After graduating, Spikes moved to Urbana, Illinois and pursued her M.S. degree in mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While pursuing her master’s degree, Spikes gained a passion for teaching and decided that she would give back to her community by teaching at a historically black college. In 1958, she returned to Louisiana and accepted a teaching position at Mossville High School in Calcasien Parish. While serving in that capacity, Spikes helped to improve the school’s ratings by introducing independent study programs. Then, in 1961, she returned to her alma mater, Southern University, and served as an assistant professor of mathematics.

In 1971, Spikes made history by becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Louisiana State University. She went on to serve as the chancellor for Southern University-Baton Rouge and Southern University-New Orleans in the late 1980s. Spikes was the first female chancellor (and later, president) of a public university in the State of Louisiana. She was then appointed as a board member of Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management in 1987, and in 1988, she made history once again when she was appointed as president of Southern University and the A&M College System, becoming the first woman in the United States to head a university system. Later, in 1996, Spikes became the president of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore where she served until 2001.

Spikes has received numerous awards and recognitions for her accomplishments in academia, including: the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award and Ebony Magazine’s “Most Influential Black Women in America.” She has also served on the board of advisors for historically black colleges and universities; the board of directors for Education Commission of the States; and the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities.

Spikes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2008.

Spikes passed away on June 1, 2015.

See how Dolores R. Spikes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dolores R. Spikes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her family's surname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her family's work in the construction industry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her likeness to her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the culture of South Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her Native American ancestry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her paternal family's practice of voodoo, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her paternal family's practice of voodoo, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the Creole language
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers the impact of urban renewal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls the demolition of St. Francis Xavier High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls the demolition of St. Francis Xavier High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her early social activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her paternal family's musical legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her time at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers Southern University President Felton Grandison Clark
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about Louisiana's historically black colleges
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls Felton Grandison Clark's departure from Southern University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her activities at Southern University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her experiences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her living situation at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her decision to return to graduate school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her experiences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her the subject of her dissertation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her mathematical influences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her ambition to become a mathematician
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her transition to higher education administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her vice chancellorship of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her chancellorship of Southern University at New Orleans
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spike remembers becoming president of the Southern University System
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her challenges at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her separation agreement with the Southern University System
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls negotiating a consent decree to integrate Louisiana's public universities, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls negotiating a consent decree to integrate Louisiana's public universities, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the engineering and physics programs at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the funding of graduate programs at historically black universities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the challenges facing higher education organizations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls being offered the presidency of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her presidency of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers her decision to retire
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes reflects upon her life and legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the Head Start program at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes narrates her photographs