by: Karen Parks
Bethune-Cookman University is honoring the legacy of Professor Emeritus Cleo Higgins after her passing Thursday, May 19. Higgins served B-CU in administrative leadership roles as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty from 1976 – 1986.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Cleo Higgins,” said Interim President Hiram C. Powell. “She left her mark on this campus and community in more ways than one, and we look forward to honoring her legacy for years to come.”
In 1945, Higgins became an English instructor at what was then known as Bethune-Cookman College. From 1946-1948, she served as chairman of the English department, before going on to serve as the chairman of the division of humanities until 1956. In 1970, Higgins returned to Bethune-Cookman College as the acting chairman of the division of humanities and was reinstated to the full-time role in 1973. Higgins retired in 1988 after 43 years of educational service, but she continued to teach part-time and volunteer at Daytona Beach schools, local communities and churches, and penal institutions.
Higgins is credited with designing the seal of Bethune-Cookman College in 1947. The framework of her design is still used by B-CU today.