Lathardus Goggins Ph.D., Ed.D, Ed.S (1927-2009)

February 3

To achieve greatness one should live as if they will never die.

Francois De La Rochefoucauld

I learned of Dr Lathardus Goggins while researching my family tree. He married one of my 2nd cousins 1x removed. As I added his leaf I stumbled across his impressive life story. It was a sad moment to learn he’d died. Yet, I found myself rejoicing he lived a fruitful and very rewarding life where he walked among giants. Below is his obituary:

Photo taken from Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com

After a year-long struggle with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Lathardus Goggins passed away peacefully in his sleep December 4, 2009 at 3:45 a.m.

Lathardus (Bop, Goggins, Pops, Daddy, Grandpa, Papa) was born December 29, 1927 in Anniston, Ala. to Douglas and Willice (Griffin) Goggins.

When Lathardus was four years old, his father moved the family from Alabama to Buffalo, N.Y., during the “great migration” from the south to the north. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (now the Air Force) and trained at Tuskegee during the end of World War II. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1949.

On August 26, 1951, he married Doris Corine Byrd in Buffalo, N.Y.

Lathardus attended Central State and Ohio State Universities, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively. Lathardus returned to Buffalo, N.Y, taught Social Studies for Buffalo Public Schools, and pledged Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Before joining The University of Akron in 1969, Lathardus taught in East Africa, where he was a member of the first wave of Teachers for East Africa (TEA), one of the first international initiatives of the Kennedy Administration that provided teachers for secondary schools and teacher training colleges in East Africa during the 1960s. Also, Lathardus taught at Florida A & M University, Grambling State University, University of New York at Plattsburg, and Brooklyn College.

On December 17, 1965 he married Ellen L. Osborne, while working in Grambling, La.

Dr. Goggins earned doctorates from St. John’s University in New York (Ph.D., History/African Studies) and The University of Akron (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) from Kent State University. He also earned multiple masters degrees from The University of Akron. At The University of Akron, he was a Professor of Geography and rose to become Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Additionally, Dr. Goggins was a visiting professor at the University of Warsaw in Poland and traveled extensively aboard: Senegal, Benin, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Zaire, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, People’s Republic of China, India, Australia, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, and Canada.

During his tenure, Dr. Goggins was a witness and responsible for many changes at the university that ultimately affected the city of Akron. Dr. Goggins developed the minority graduate recruitment initiative and recruited hundreds of students to the University. He was most proud of the 98 percent graduation rate from his program. In 1999, he was the first African-American to receive a UA rocking chair for 30 years of service. After 36 years of scholarship and service to The University of Akron, Dr Goggins retired in December 2005. In 2008, the Dr. Lathardus Goggins Endowed Scholarship was established.

Preceded in death by daughter, Denise Goggins; Lathardus Goggins leaves wife, Dr. Ellen O. Goggins; three children, Brenda Goggins Laster, Cheryl Goggins Barnes (Melton Sr.), and Dr. Lathardus Goggins II (Wanda); ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; seven siblings; and a host of nieces, nephews, special cousins and friends.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Dr. Lathardus Goggins Endowed Scholarship Fund. Envelopes will be available at the December 19, 11 a.m. memorial celebration at the Arlington Church of God, Akron, OH 44306 or donations may be mailed to: Dr. Lathardus Goggins Endowed Scholarship Fund, Department of Development, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-2603

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