Huntington, WV Black History

LeRoy Banks Allen Reverend Dr.


The Rev. Dr. LeRoy Banks Allen was a distinguished educator and college administrator.

Before locating to Huntington, Allen was born in 1916 in Hot Springs, Virginia. After graduation from Douglass High School in 1935, he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, a M.A. from Atlanta University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He also completed post doctoral studies at Harvard University under a Ford Foundation Fellowship.

Allen had a distinguished career as an educator and college administrator. He was a professor at the University of Delaware, the Dean of Students and the College Minister at Arkansas A&M State College, and, in 1947, became the chairman of the division of social sciences at the historically Black college, Bluefield State College (WV), a position he held for 11 years. In 1958, he was inaugurated as the institution’s sixth president, a position he held until 1965.

Afterward, Allen assumed the same post at Cheyney University (PA), the oldest historically Black college in the nation. He was a member of the following organizations: Beta Eta Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity-First Sire Archon and Charter Member 1980; Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity-Life Member; YMCA Board Member; and Chain Social Club.

Following a long illness, Allen passed away in 2001 at the age of 85. Both he and his wife, Dr. Alma Coppedge Allen, are buried at Graceland Memorial Park in Wilmington, Delaware.

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