Donald M. Henderson, first African American provost at Pitt

Henderson and his accomplishments were honored in many ways over the years, from an endowed scholarship to a professorship to a clock at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard.

“Donald Henderson was one of the most consequential leaders in the modern history of the University of Pittsburgh,” said his longtime friend and colleague Mark Nordenberg, chancellor emeritus of Pitt. “He was a trailblazer, the first African American to serve as provost, or chief academic officer. He stabilized that position and expanded its impact and influence, changes that were critical to Pitt’s dramatic academic ascent. And in everything he did, Donald displayed strength of character, serving as a role model for many of us and elevating the culture of the institution.”

Henderson, who retired to The Villages, Fla., died June 8, 2022, of congestive heart failure. He was 91.

Read a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary