Morehouse College Sesquicentennial Celebration

Biography - Leroy Keith Jr.

Leroy Keith Jr. ‘61 became Morehouse College’s eighth president in 1987. During the Keith administration, the College’s endowment increased to more than $60 million, and faculty salaries and student scholarships significantly increased. Construction of the Nabrit-Mapp-McBay science building, the Thomas Kilgore Jr. Campus Center and two dormitories were completed, and Hope Hall was rebuilt.

Keith is currently chairman of the board of Carson Products, one of the nation’s leading ethnic hair-product providers.

Before joining Morehouse, Keith served as vice president for policy and planning at the University of Maryland System, Adelphi, Maryland.

A 1961 graduate of Morehouse, Dr. Keith holds the master of science degree and a doctorate in education and business administration from Indiana University.

As vice president for the Maryland system, Keith was responsible for coordinating the development of long-range academic, fiscal and facilities planning for the five-campus system, which at the time had an enrollment of 90,000 students and an operating budget of more than $800 million.

Keith has attained a wide range of experience and accomplishments.  In 1975, then 36 years old, he was appointed chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, becoming the first African American to hold such a position in American higher education.  He also served as executive vice president of the University of Massachusetts System, and associate dean of the college and assistant professor of education and urban studies at Dartmouth College

In 1984, Keith was appointed to the Maryland Higher Education Supplement Loan Authority by the governor and more recently, he was appointed to the College Trends Committee of the American Council on Education.  Keith also served on two private sector boards: the Keystone Group, an $11-billion investment company, and the Phoenix Series Fund of the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company. He also served as a trustee of the St. Andrews Episcopal School in Bethesda, Maryland.

Keith is the receipient of several awards, including Resolution for Outstanding Achievement from the House of Representatives of the State of Tennessee, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University, and was named on of 100 top Young Leaders in the American Academy by Change magazine and the American Council on Education.

A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Keith and his wife, Anita, have four daughters: Lori, Susan, Kelli, and Kimberly.