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Dr. Ramsey climbed heights of education

Henry County native held
lofty positions

If there were a Hall of Fame for achievement by Henry County natives, Don Ramsey would have been a nominee.

His list of positions in higher education was impressive. For starters, he was assistant dean, assistant director of educational research and director of admissions and freshman scholarships at Yale University. With the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, he directed regional accreditation of higher education institutions in six states.

Then he was chancellor of the West Virginia Board of Regents, deputy commissioner of academic and health affairs in higher education for the state of Texas, and interim vice president for finance and administrative services at Murray State University.

In between these positions, he was a self-employed consultant in higher education, offering his expertise in such widely varying areas as academic programs, admissions, human resources, government relations and planning.

He earned degrees from Yale and Harvard and got an honorary one from a college in West Virginia.

He was Dr. Robert Russell Ramsey Jr., but when he retired and moved back to his hometown, his friends all knew him as Don. It was as a friend that he spent his last years living quietly among us.

Seeing him in his wide brim hat mowing the same lawn his father had lovingly tended, you might not suspect he was one of the most academically accomplished people this community ever produced.


Editorial  from  The  Paris   Post-Intelligencer
September 16, 2003  Edition



Parisian Robert R. Don Ramsey, Jr., 74, of South Highland Street died Friday night, September 12, 2003, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

Ivy League educated he served in several states in education, including as Secretary of Education in the commonwealth of Virginia (1976-1978).

After being educated in Paris public schools (Grove Class of 1946), Ramsey earned a bachelor's degree in 1950 from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. He enrolled in Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., earning a master's degree in 1954 and his doctorate in counseling and guidance in 1959. His dissertation was titled "A Study of Cultural Influence on Academic Performance in College and Law School."

In 1981, Ramsey was given an honorary doctor of laws degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia.

After finishing undergraduate school, Ramsey enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served in the Korean War. While in the Army, he attended the Adjutant general's school at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. He also was a senior personnel psychology assistant at the armed forces examining station in Detroit.

Ramsey returned to Yale in 1959 as an assistant dean and an assistant director director of educational research.

From 1961-66, he was director of  admissions and freshman scholarships at the university.

He was director of evaluation of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges from 1969-76, serving on the commission on institutions of higher education.

He was staff director for regional accreditation of colleges and universities in six New England states at that time.

From 1980-83, Ramsey was chancellor of West Virginia Board of Regents in Charleston.

He served as deputy commissioner of academic and health affairs for the Texas College and University System coordinating board in Austin from 1983-85.

In 1987 and 1988, Ramsey was interim vice president for finance and administrative services and treasurer of the board of regents at Murray State University.

Ramsey retired in 1994 as a self employed higher   education consultant. In the position he worked with academic programs, accreditation, administration, admissions, governmental relations, human resources, organizational and planning.

He had worked as a consultant from 1978-80, 1985-87 and 1988-1994.





Robert R. Don Ramsey Jr., 74 of South Highland Street in Paris died Friday night, September 12, 2003, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

The Body was to be cremated. A grave site memorial service is planned at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at Maplewood Cemetery, with Charles Orr of First Baptist Church officiating.

Honorary pallbearers will be Albert R. Walker, Charles McMillen, Carl Ross Veazey, Frank Smith, Adolph Koenig, George M. Luckey Jr., Philip S. J. Moriarty, James C. Phillips, Louis Rabineau and William J. Walsh.

Visitation will be after 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at McEvoy Funeral Home.

He was married on June 30, 1962, to the former Susan Randolph, who survives.

Born April 22, 1929, in Stewart County, he was a son of Russell and Kate Goforth Ramsey, now deceased.

Ramsey retired as a self-employed higher education consultant.

He also leaves two cousins: Jack G. Brown of St. Albums, West Virginia and James C. Ramsey of Monroe, Louisiana; and two 2nd cousins: Gary and Rickey Ramsey, both of Murray.

The family requests memorials be made to the Paris-Henry County Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 1030, Paris or the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, 1250 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, New York 10305-1946.


Editorial,  Special  Article   and  Obituary

Reprinted from  THE  PARIS   POST-INTELLIGENCER, Paris, Tennessee
September 15, 2003 ~ Edition
Used by Permission