Dr. Luther Hilton Foster, Jr.
Dr. Luther Hilton Foster's many accomplishments as the fourth president of Tuskegee included organization of the College of Arts and Sciences, the elimination of several vocational programs, and development of engineering programs.
Prior to being named president in 1953, Foster was budget officer at Howard University and later business manager at Tuskegee University. Elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor, President Foster had degrees from Virginia State, Hampton, and Harvard universities and the University of Chicago.
He served on the Board of Sears Roebuck, Norton Simon, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, March of Dimes, the American Association of Colleges, the Academy for Educational Development, the Joint Committee for Political and Economic Studies, the UNCF, and the Institute for Church Administration Management.
Recipient of the Star of Africa (Liberia) in 1958, Foster’s distinguished career was acknowledged with honorary degrees from Adams State (Colorado) College, The University of Liberia, Virginia State College, The University of Michigan, Colby College, the University of Alabama, Loyola University of Chicago and Northeastern University. He received the Alumni Award from Hampton University in 1954.
Friends and colleagues lauded Dr. Foster’s work ethic, his generosity and “the power of his human spirit” by describing him as a “highly principled man . . . a man for his time.” Foster died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, while returning to his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 81 years old.
In 2002, Foster was honored by Tuskegee President Benjamin F. Payton and the Board of Trustees for his foresight, wisdom and service when it unanimously decided to dedicate and name a major academic facility on Tuskegee’s campus in Foster’s honor.
The Engineering Building, home to the engineering programs Foster launched during his tenure and the primary home of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences, was named “Luther H. Foster Hall” on October 19, 2002.
News Release: Oct. 22, 2002
Quiet and courageous leader honored with building
Tuskegee honored its fourth president Oct. 19 by naming Luther H. Foster Hall, formerly referred to as the Engineering Building, in his honor. The namesake reveres Dr. Foster’s “quiet and courageous leadership” during his 1953 to 1981 tenure.