In Memoriam

Florence A. Pendleton (B.S. ’49, M.S. ’57) died on September 10, 2020 at the age of 94. Along with Jesse Jackson, she became the first senator to represent the District of Columbia in 1991, and she was the first African-American woman elected to the Senate. She spent three terms in office. Pendleton also spent more than 40 years working as an administrator for D.C. Public Schools.

Loretta (Thomas) Whitfield (B.S. ’62) died on December 27, 2020 at age 79. In the late 1980s, Whitfield created Baby Whitney, a doll designed specifically for Black children that successfully sold for several years. She also worked at Howard as director of the educational advisory center for 32 years until her retirement in 1999.

Joyce Burrows Dinkins (B.S. ’53) died on October 11, 2020. She was 89. As the first African-American first lady of New York City, she became a public advocate for children.

David Neal McGruder (B.A. ’93) died unexpectedly on December 25, 2020 at age 49. He was a lawyer and passionate in community service. His wife, Depelsha Thomas McGruder (B.A. '94), established a scholarship for service and justice in his name.

Terez Paylor (B.A. ’06) died on February 9, 2021. He was 37. Paylor was a popular NFL writer and Pro Football Hall of Fame voter whose career started as a sports reporter for the Kansas
City Star. More recently, he worked for Yahoo Sports.

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