Ivery Clifton, UGA’s first African American dean, dies at 76

Ivery Clifton, whose 27-year career at the University of Georgia included history-making accomplishments such as becoming its first African American dean, died last week at the age of 76.

Clifton, a native Georgian, was a professor, department chair and was interim dean from 1994 to 1995 in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He also was an associate vice president for academic affairs.

Clifton retired in 2003 and was named professor emeritus status in agricultural economics. He died Jan. 1.

As dean, university leaders said Clifton pushed for strategic planning and for diversity among the college’s faculty and clients.

“Dr. Clifton provided extraordinary leadership and service in many important roles at the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “He will forever be remembered for his valuable contributions.”

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Clifton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Tuskegee University and spent six years with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. He was a Vietnam War veteran of the U.S. Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves after 27 years of service, UGA said.

“Ivery Clifton was a patriot and a dedicated educator who committed 30 years of his life to making a brighter future for this university, this college and the students who were fortunate enough to have a seat in his classroom,” said Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “We will miss his wise counsel and support, but his legacy will remain evident in this college for generations to come.”

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