News » News & Notes | Sept. 15
Former University Provost and University of Pennsylvania President Sheldon Hackney, 79, died Sept. 12 of Lou Gehrig’s disease at his home in Massachusetts, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1933, Hackney graduated with a B.A. in history from Vanderbilt and a Ph.D in American history from Yale. He arrived at Princeton in 1965 as a history lecturer before taking the post of provost in 1972. He resigned after three years to become the president of Tulane University in New Orleans, La., where he served for five years before accepting the presidency at Penn. At the University, Hackney helped create the African American Studies program and taught Upward Bound, a program for disadvantaged students.
Hackney served as Penn’s president from 1981-93 before continuing to teach history until he retired in 2010. He specialized in the post-Civil War history of the American South. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a post he held until 1997.
President Amy Gutmann, who also served as provost at Princeton, called Hackney one of the “most beloved presidents” in Penn’s history.