Honoree

Roderick R. Paige

AWARDS

Honorary Degree (2017)
LH.D
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Undergraduate Commencement
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Michael McRobbie
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2013)
M.S. 1962, Ph.D. 1970

BIOGRAPHY

Roderick R. Paige of Houston, Texas, ascended from a college dean and school superintendent to become the seventh U.S. secretary of education, serving from 2001 to 2005. He earned his master's degree in physical education from IU in 1962 and his doctorate in physical education in 1970.

As a trustee and officer of the Houston Independent School District's board of education, Paige co-authored a statement of purpose and goals for the troubled district that called for fundamental reform. He strengthened the school system both organizationally and academically by addressing school overcrowding, staffing, pay, performance-based instruction and support services and programs.

In 1994, he became superintendent of the Houston schools, and his reforms laid the groundwork for his appointment by President George W. Bush as U.S. secretary of education. He was the first African-American to serve in that position.