Albert Nathaniel Whiting, Ph.D., fourth president and first chancellor of North Carolina Central University, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Columbia, Maryland, according to North Carolina Central University.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting served the university from July 1, 1967, to June 30, 1983. He was named chancellor emeritus upon retirement on June 30, 1983.
His university appointments included serving as professor of sociology at Bennett College and Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University, and dean of the faculty at Morris Brown College.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting came to Durham from Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), where he was dean of the faculty. He was elected president of North Carolina College at Durham by the Board of Trustees on July 20, 1996, and assumed his duties in July 1967. Under his leadership, North Carolina College became North Carolina Central University, added its fifth school, the School of Business in 1972, and increased programs, including criminal justice, public administration, elementary education, jazz and music. He welcomed President Gerald R. Ford to campus in 1975. Upon his arrival, the institution’s enrollment was more than 3,000 students, and by the time he retired in 1983, the enrollment had grown to over 5,000 students.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting has been referred to as a “builder” of the institution. As president and chancellor, he oversaw substantial growth of the physical plant that included 12 buildings. His most ambitious project was the erection of a four-building physical education complex, as well as the construction of Eagleson Hall, the Alfonso Elder Student Union and the annex to James E. Shepard Memorial Library. Additionally, a new chancellor’s residence was constructed in Emorywoods in 1974, at 3,292 square feet.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was the first leader to initiate a major fundraising campaign to create a university endowment, and he helped established the NCCU Foundation, Inc. When he arrived at NNCU, the operating budget was $5.5 million; it has risen to $34 million by 1983, the year he retired. Chancellor Emeritus Whiting created the Office of Development and Public Relations, which later become the Office of Institutional Advancement. He was a strong advocate of faculty development and established collaborative programs with the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin to help NCCU faculty obtain doctorate degrees.
After retiring from NCCU, Chancellor Emeritus Whiting relocated to Columbia, Md., and served on the Maryland Higher Education Commission and University of Maryland’s Board of Regents until his final retirement.
He maintained a strong connection to NCCU following his retirement, and in 1988, he served as the Founder’s Day speaker. The Albert N. Whiting Criminal Justice Building, dedicated on November 3, 1989, bears his name. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from NCCU on May 15, 1983, and was presented with the James E. Shepard Medallion during the Centennial of North Carolina Central University in 2010.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was an active member of the community. On December 15, 1969, he was one of the only two African Americas approved and admitted to become members of the Durham Rotary Club. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc. He founded the first member Boule in North Carolina and is considered “The Father of the Member Boules” in North Carolina. While serving at NCCU, he was a communicant at St. Titus Episcopal Church.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, a master’s degree from Fisk University and his Ph.D. in sociology from American University.
Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was married to the late Lottie Luck Whiting, who passed in 2004, on June 10, 1950, in Danville, Va., and was the father of Dr. Brooke Whiting and his adopted daughter, Dr. Lila Ammons.
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) extends it profound condolences and prayers to the Whiting family, NCCU and HBCU community during this time of sorrow. We thank Chancellor Emeritus Whiting for a job well done.
In lieu of flowers, the family desires that contributions are made to the NCCU Foundation, Inc., to support the Albert N. Whiting Endowment. You can donate online at www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/giving-online. Checks can be made payable and mailed to: NCCU Foundation, Inc., 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707; please write Albert N. Whiting Endowment (account #40133) on the memo line of the check. For more information on Ways to Give, visit www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/ways-give.