Dr. Dolores Margaret (Richard) Spikes
1936 - 2015
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Retired University President of the Southern University System and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Dr. Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes was born on August 24, 1936 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Margaret and Lawrence Richard. Dolores credits her parents, as the single greatest influence on her life. She departed her life on Monday, June 1, 2015. Viewing will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Greenoaks Funeral Home, 9595 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the F. G. Clark Activity Center at Southern University. Visitation will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2251 Main Street, Baton Rouge, LA on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. Rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. with Father Thomas Clark, SJ as celebrant. Interment will be at the Greenoaks Memorial Park Cemetery. Dr. Spikes received her elementary and high school education in the parochial and public school systems in Baton Rouge. Throughout her youth, her parents strongly advocated the value of a college education and as a result, she enrolled at Southern University in 1953. In 1957, she earned her B.S. degree in Mathematics. In 1958, she returned to Louisiana and accepted a teaching position at Mossville High School in Calcasieu Parish. While serving in that capacity, Dr. Spikes helped to improve the school's ratings by introducing independent study programs. After graduating, Dr. Spikes pursued a M.S. degree in Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While pursuing her Master's degree, Dr. Spikes gained a passion for teaching and decided that she would give back to her community by becoming a teacher. Dr. Spikes returned to her alma mater, Southern University, and served as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 1961. In 1971, Dr. Spikes made history by becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Louisiana State University (LSU). A remarkable educator and tireless advocate tor equal access to education for all, Dr. Spikes was inducted into the LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction in 2012. During the eighties, Dr. Spikes began to move from academia to administrative positions. From 1982 to 1985, she served as Assistant to the Chancellor for Southern University at Baton Rouge. Later, she became Executive Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In the late eighties, she served as Chancellor for Southern University-Baton Rouge and Southern University-New Orleans campuses. Dr. Spikes was the first female Chancellor of a land grant university in the State of Louisiana. She was then appointed as a board member of Harvard University's Institute of Educational Management in 1987. In 1988, Dr. Spikes made history once again being appointed as President of the Southern University and A&M College System, one of the largest predominantly black university systems in the United States. As president, Dr. Spikes became not only the first female to lead a public college or university in Louisiana, but also the first woman in the United States to oversee a university system. Later, in 1996, Dr. Spikes became the president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she served until 2001. Dr. Spikes has received numerous awards and recognitions for her accomplishments in academia, including: the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award and Ebony Magazine's "Most Influential Black Woman in America." She was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Baton Rouge, LA, Pi Mu Epsilon Honorary Fraternity in Mathematics, Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Fraternity and Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has also served on the board of advisors for historically black colleges and universities, the board of directors for Education Commission of the States and the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. She was named by the Southern University System, President Emeritus after her retirement. She leaves to cherish her memory, her sisters, Ann Richard Fenelon and Elizabeth Richard Bellaire; the love of her life, her grandchildren, Bianca Christina Margaret Pete, and Bronson Christopher Lawrence Pete. Among her several nieces and nephews, Gina Bellaire Clark, Lillie Mae Etienne, Evelyn "Pie" Sheldon, Corliss Ann Stewart, and Marlene Domingue and her nephews, Morris Richard Clark, Sr., Mack Allen Jones, Carl Glen Jones and Otis "Peanut" Jones were like her daughters and sons. She adored her godchildren, Gwendolyn West, Martene Moore, Gaylyn Elizabeth Bellaire (niece) and Scott Christopher Clark (nephew). She was a treasure to Dorothy Smart, Dr. Betty Wienhoff and Gloria Love, whom she raised like her daughters. Dr. Spikes is preceded in death by her loving husband, Hermon Spikes; parents Margaret and Lawrence Richard and daughter Rhonda Kathleen Spikes-Brown. Dr. Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes will be remembered as a leader who drew on the wisdom and experience she gained as President of her beloved alma mater, Southern University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the grace that comes with being a native of the South. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Sisters of the Holy Family c/o Sister Mary Greta, Jupiter 6901, Chef Menteur Hwy., New Orleans, LA 70126 or the Sister Thea Bowman Foundation, 44870 Woodridge Drive Hermantown, MN 58811.

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Published in The Advocate from Jun. 6 to Jun. 9, 2015.
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Memories & Condolences
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53 entries
June 4, 2020
I graduated from Southern in December 1988. She was recently named President of Southern. When I crossed the stage and she handed me my diploma I told her " I'm happy for you and the university." I was happier for Southern than actually graduating.
Now I found out we share a birthday - August 24th. SHUX!
Rest Peacefully, Dr. Spikes!
June 2, 2020
What a light and leader she was for our University! She set a wonderful example for all people, especially young women everywhere to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. She was fearless and a significant part of history for Southern University and A&M College and the world! Continue to rest well Soror. Continued peace and God's comfort for the family.
Denise Jackson
June 2, 2020
A true one of a kind history maker. A trailblazer that influenced many lives. A leader who showed us all that we could reach our goals. A mentor who is missed. She is sorely missed. Rest in Peace leader.
Alaric Robinson
February 7, 2020
traanna lewis
June 12, 2015
Prayers are with the Spikes Family.
Brian K Harris
Social Work Action Club President Class of 1998 Southern University
June 11, 2015
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Glenn W. Scott, Sr., and Traci T. Johnson
June 11, 2015
Dr. Spikes is among my favorite role models. I will forever value her brilliance and her caring spirit. She lived a life of meaning and purpose. As a woman of faith, high character and tremendous courage, she will be remembered forever.
My condolences are extended to the family. Please know that she is now in God's presence. May God give us peace as we all transition to a life with only memories of her great work. We are her living legacy.
Nodie Monroe Washington, Ph.D.
Nodie Washington
June 11, 2015
My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Dr. Spikes' family. I did not know
Dr. Spikes personally. I met her niece and sister at The Crossing when my
sister-in-law was there at the same time. What two wonderful women they
are with a love for family, community, and country. Even though it was under
stressful, sad circumstances, I enjoyed their company. God Bless This Family.
Rosalie T. Fowler, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
June 10, 2015
To the Family,
My deepest sympathy and warmest thoughts are extended to you. I pray that the beautiful memories you have of Dr. Spikes, and the love of friends will help to see you through and bring you brighter days. God bless and keep you.
Eunice Valley Copeland
June 10, 2015
I am glad I had an opportunity to touch shoulders with such an amazing woman on a professional and personal level.
I am also saddened for a family that I know and love.
Her legacy will live on through her grandchildren, nieces, nephews and all the students who lives she touched.

Rest in peace Dr. Dolores Spikes.
Veronica Stacker
June 10, 2015
We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Dr.Delores Spikes. We are thankful and grateful for the opportunity to have known such a remarkable , outstanding, and distinguished leader. We will always cherish the memories of her legacy, well-spent at our alma motto, Southern University. ..

Laura Bowie Willis, Dr. Toni Bowie Grant, Ann Bowie Wyatt, Cephas Bowie Jr.
June 10, 2015
Liz, Ann, and Family

You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God strengthen you during this difficult time.
Leo & Audrey Hilton
June 10, 2015
To the Family,
I'm truly sorry to hear about the loss of an outstanding person and leader. Dr. Spikes was the President of Southern University when I was a student there (87-92). On my office wall at home is my degree from Southern University signed by Dr. Dolores Spikes. I never heard a more powerful and awesome speaker than Dr. Spikes. She was truly an advocate and ambassador for Southern University. You are missed Dr. Spikes.
Dennis Daniels M.S., D.A. honoris causa
June 10, 2015
Dr. Spikes will Truly be Missed. She was so loved my many and an inspiration to me. She led/taught many people in the world and SU to strive for excellence. I will be so ever grateful. My Condolences to the Family. May God Bless. Love Mrs. Shawnda Butler.
Shawnda Butler
June 10, 2015
Dr. Spikes was a consummate leader, compassionate friend, teacher, one of high moral values, humble, always a lady and certainly one to be emulated. May she rest in peace. May we live to see another rare leader like her.
Brenda Brent Williams
June 9, 2015
You will be missed Dr. Spikes. Thanks for all you have done in the community and I will treasure every experience given from you at Southern University!
Cindy Bernard -West
June 9, 2015
RIP to a fantastic and marvelous lady who led Southern University System to higher heights. Not only a great leader but also a remarkable Professor of Mathematics.
Patricia Deamer
June 9, 2015
Dr. Spikes was someone I admired and considered a "Role Model" to many young and old. My deepest sympathy to her loving family. I am praying for each of you. Love, Dorothy C. 'Dot' Lee & Family
Dorothy Lee
June 9, 2015
Your encouraging words and advice will never be forgotten. You were truly a jewel lighting the pathway for our sucess. My prayers and condolences to the family.
Monica Joseph
June 9, 2015
Extending our condolences to the Family of Dr. Dolores Spikes. I have cherished memories of Dr. Spikes as a loving, caring, and affectionate individual and educator. She has left an indelible imprint in my memories. It is our prayer that you find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared life's journey through and with her. I know for certain that we never lose the individuals we love, even to death, because they continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Our Prayers and thoughts are with you.

With Heartfelt Sympathy,
Ginger F. Smith & Family
June 9, 2015
I send my deepest sympathy to Dr. Spikes'family. May you rest in peace Dr. Spikes .
Harretta Martin
June 9, 2015
I've had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Ms Dolores thru the Jones family.. she welcomed me into her home where i met some of her immediate family and i must say she made me feel right at home. Even tho i didnt kno her before that day she conversated with me like she been knowing me for years an for that one time she is and will be so memorable to me.. ALL MY PRAYERS TO THE SPIKES/RICHARD/JONES FAMILY
June 9, 2015
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Lovie Oyekenu
June 9, 2015
Rest in peace, now the battle is over you won enjoy your spiritual life with Herman and Rhonda, much love cuz.
Debra Anderson
June 9, 2015
Gaylyn and Family:

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May God continue to strengthen each of you during this difficult time.
La'Kethia J and Family
June 9, 2015
Mr. & Mrs. Jessie Ward, Jr.
June 9, 2015
I extend my deepest sympathy to Dr. Spikes' family.
She was a champion of her alumni (SU) and mine (Spelman College). "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal." May she now rest safe in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dotty Hampton
June 9, 2015
May you rest in peace cousin Delores!
Sharon Smith
June 9, 2015
Sincere condolences to the family. I will always remember when I met Dr. Spikes at Immaculate Conception in 1970; she inspired me to become a leader and not a follower. I will always remember her by this great gospel song, "May the work I've done speak me."
Juanita Richard
June 9, 2015
A great champion in the higher education community. Our sincerest sympathy.
Charlotte Morris
June 9, 2015
I would not this far on my journey if it had not been for Dr. Spikes help, concern, & compassion. She will be missed!!! What an impact you made on our Southern University System!!!
Nik Taylor
June 9, 2015
To Dr. Dolores Spikes Family,
It was indeed a pleasure to know Dr. Spikes. I knew her when she was president of UMES and I was employed at Delaware State University at the time. She was a brilliant woman. She is also a Soror.
Mildred Ofosu
June 9, 2015
Thank you so much to God and family for sharing this tender, loved, yet strong leader. Her legacy will live through so many of us that learned about improving this world through our work. Much joy and knowledge we received from Dr. Spikes. Peace be with you, she is at home with God.
Guy & Carolyn S Bradley
June 9, 2015
To The Family:
May your hearts be filled with the beautiful memories that you have of her.
Lloyd and Veronica Baptiste
June 9, 2015
A life well-lived. Take pleasure in the beautiful memories you have of your loved one.
Lloyd and Mary Veronica Baptiste
June 9, 2015
Praying for the Spikes family...you will be truly missed.
Leslie Atkins-Ard
June 9, 2015
I will your always remember your kindness and grace. My condolences to the family.
Gena Lewis
June 8, 2015
Dr. Spikes taught me during the seventies at Southern University. She was gifted, honorable, humble and kind. She made you feel valued. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Throughout the years Marlene P. Domingue, a Spikes family member and a dear friend of mine, would keep me posted about Dr. Spikes . May the Heavenly Father meet Dr. Spikes at His pearly gates. She was His gift to many first generation college students who needed to be lifted up with hope and encouragement.
Carrie Gray Kennedy
June 8, 2015
May you be welcomed into the presence of Yahweh by the grace of The Risen Christ Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rev Prof Isaac Belonga
June 8, 2015
I will always remember your smile, kind words and very distinctive voice. Always so positive. Rest on Dr. Spike we will miss you dearly. You left us a wonderful history. To the family you are in our prayers.
Melonie Pryer
June 8, 2015
To the Family of Dr. Delores Richard Spikes

Dr. Delores Richard Spikes was truly a phenomenal woman and educator whose contributions to Southern University and higher education will be forever etched in the annals of Higher Education in this country. With her intelligence, diligence, courage, commitment, unyielding quest for excellence and an unmatched love for her alma mater, she turned the Southern University System into a shining star in the United States of America.

Dr. Delores Richard Spikes has left an indelible impression on all of us who knew her and worked with her. She will truly missed.


Dr. Joseph B. Johnson, Former President
Grambling State University (1977-1991)
Talladega College (1991-1998)
Joseph Johnson
June 8, 2015
"Earth's lost is Heaven's gain"...A soldier is at rest! May you soar like an eagle and find peace in His bosom. Thank you for all that you did for me and my family...now Rest in Paradise!!! P.S. Tell Mr. Spikes that he can check on his trucks, Steve Thomas and I "Got his back!!"
Ronnie Foster
June 8, 2015
What a trailblazer.
She will surely be missed. My prayers are with the family.
June 8, 2015
I will truly miss your beautiful spirit Cousin Delores. I will always cherish all of our laughs, hugs and the talks that we have shared. Hug and kiss evryone for me especially my Grandma Bea. You will forever hold a special place in my heart. I love and will miss you...til we meet again in Glory..
Love You, Lori
Lori Thierry-Gregory
June 8, 2015
KARL MILTON PIERCE She was the Best College Algebra Teacher I possessed. She was a very smart, wise, and intelligent woman. KAPPA ALPHA PSI
June 8, 2015
Dr.Spikes, Was truly an Angel sent by GOD, to handle the problems that plagued our DEARLY BELOVED SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY !!! Am sure that there is a seat in the HEAVENS above just waiting for her with her name on it. Your friends, Dr. Donald Wade awaits you, Dr. Issac Greggs, Your Beloved Husband Dr. Herman Spikes and your Beautiful Daughter Rhonda---Now you REST In PEACE, cause your time was well SPENT ! My sincere heartfelt sympathy and prayers goes out to this family AMEN
Rev. Vada Mitchell
June 7, 2015
I remember meeting with Dr. Spikes many years ago. She was so lady like and well versed in the handling of the matter/s we were discussing. Rest in Peace.
Nettie Robinson, Retired Southern University Librarian
June 7, 2015
Dr. Spikes was truly a "Pioneer" and a "Trail Blazer" in everything she did especially education. She will be missed. May her memories give her grandchildren and extended family strength now and in the coming days. Stephanie Alfred-Gant (daughter of the late Kirklin & Doris Alfred - neighbors of Dr. Delores Spikes).
Stephanie Alfred-Gant
June 7, 2015
With deepest sympathy to the family.
Michael & Wilma Jarrett
June 7, 2015
Drn Spikes touched a lot of lives. She will be truly missed.
The Potier Family
Ardell Potier
June 6, 2015
They just don't make them like Dr. Spikes any more. Heaven has gained a well-qualified angel. May she rest in peace and continued prayers to the family.
Mary Jane Spruel
June 6, 2015
They just don't make them like Dr. Spikes any more. There's another well-qualified angel in heaven. May she rest in peace.
Mary Jane Spruel
June 6, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are continuously with you and your love ones. God Bless!
Vinnie Davis & George Ray Brown
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