Former Southern University Chancellor Roosevelt D. Steptoe dies

Southern University announced on Saturday, Nov. 21 the passing of former Chancellor Roosevelt D. Steptoe. Steptoe was chancellor from 1975 to 1982.

A former chancellor of Southern University died on Friday at the age of 86, the university reported.

Roosevelt D. Steptoe, a native of Liberty, Mississippi, oversaw the campus from 1975 to 1982, according to university officials.

He held a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southern and a master’s degree in economics from Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta University). Steptoe also earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts and completed his post-doctoral study in urban development at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Steptoe started his professional career at Southern in 1967, where he served as director of economic and transportation research. He later worked as director of economics research projects and professor of economics, ending his tenure at Southern in 1985.

He served as vice president for academic affairs at Alabama State University, and later as an assistant professor of economics at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama.

Steptoe also published several articles concerning transportation, economics and other issues centering the community. Officials said he "held a special interest in researching these topics with disadvantaged populations in mind." 

He was a member of several agencies and organizations, serving as the chairman of the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Orleans branch.