Former Board of Trustees chair dies


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 11, 2012) - Andrew F. Brimmer, the former chair of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees, died on Oct. 7. He was 86. Brimmer retired in October of 2010 after serving the board for 45 years. He was Tuskegee’s ninth board chair for 28 years.

“If, as Booker T. Washington asserted, a man should be judged by the obstacles he had to overcome in life, then Dr. Andrew F. Brimmer was indeed a giant and his lifetime accomplishments should continue to be an inspiration to future generations,” said Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon.

Brimmer was an economist who became the first black member of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. He was elected to the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees in 1965 and became chair in 1982. The university's Andrew F. Brimmer School of Business and Information Science is named for him. Before his retirement, the Board of Trustees named him chair emeritus and presented him with the honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his contributions to education and public service.

“Dr. Brimmer was very business-like with all the board activities. He was a role model for making certain that the governance of the university and the role of the Board of Trustees were always in line with good decorum and support,” said Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, Tuskegee University Board of Trustees chair.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed Brimmer deputy assistant secretary for economic policy in the U. S. Department of Commerce. President Lyndon B. Johnson promoted Brimmer to assistant secretary for economic affairs in 1965. In 1966, President Johnson appointed him to a 14-year term as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Brimmer was the first black person to serve on the board since its founding in 1913. After serving nearly nine years, Brimmer resigned from the Federal Reserve in 1974 to teach at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.

Brimmer was the president of Brimmer and Co., a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that he established in 1976. He was also the Wilmer D. Barrett Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

Brimmer earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Washington in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.


© 2012 Tuskegee University

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