Former Alabama State University President C.C. Baker dies


David Campbell/University Photographer

Dr. Clifford Cornell Baker served as the ninth president of Alabama State University from 1991-1994

Nefsa'Hyatt Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Former Alabama State University President Clifford Cornell Baker, Ed.D., died Sunday morning, November 3, at the age of 89. He served as the university’s ninth president from 1991 until he retired in 1994.

“The name C. C. Baker will forever be revered as a part of this University’s history,” said President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. “He was a man of great vision who led the University with a passion that stemmed from his great love of his alma mater. “

When Baker came out of retirement to become president of his alma mater, the University experienced unprecedented growth, including the accreditation of the College of Business Administration (COBA), the re-accreditation of the social work program, the opening of the Olean Black Underwood Tennis Center and C. J. Dunn Tower, and the dedication of the Acadome.

He was born on December 29, 1929 in Gadsden, Alabama. The renowned educator earned two degrees from ASU: the Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1954 and the Master of Education in 1956. He earned his Doctor of Education from Auburn University in 1973. He began his educational career in Andalusia, Alabama.  Baker had a distinguished career as an educator at various levels, including classroom instructor, principal in two school systems, Head Start program director and varsity coach. He served as Assistant State Superintendent of Education, 1976-1989, the first and highest level ever held by an African American in the Alabama Department of Education.

“Dr. Baker was a mentor to me as I served as Student Government Association president during his tenure and throughout my professional career in education,” said Ross.  “I am proud to say that he also was my beloved friend who set an exemplary standard of excellence for those of us who are blessed to follow in his footsteps. The University is grateful for his unwavering support of ASU even after his presidency had ended. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, former First Lady and ASU alumna, Alma Jean Baker, and their family during this time.”

Dr. Baker was the 9th President of Alabama State University, 1991-1994. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Alma Jean Bibb Baker and a host of family and friends. He touched many lives and will be missed. Sunday, November 10, 2019 Final Rites; Phi Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Incorporated 5:00 p.m. and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated Montgomery Alumni Chapter 6:00 p.m. at Ross-Clayton Funeral Home Chapel.