It is with deep regret that we advise the campus of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Cedric Rodney, who recently retired as the school's James A Gray distinguished Professor of Religion and Ethics.
Dr. Rodney had been on the faculty of Winston-Salem State for more than 40 years and had been the James A Gray Distinguished Professor since 1992. He also served as the program coordinator for the annual James A. Gray Lecture Series that brought nationally known speakers to the campus in an effort to generate discussions on the moral and ethical issues of the day. In 1997, he became the first recipient of the university's Distinguished Service Award, which was later named in his honor. He also has received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from WSSU.
Dr. Rodney was ordained in the Moravian Church in 1959 after emigrating to the U.S. from Guyana. He served two pastorates in the C.M.E. (Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) and also was the first full time pastor at St. Phillips Moravian Church in Old Salem where he served a total of 27 years during two pastorates. He retired from active ministry of the Moravian Church in December 2003.
Dr. Rodney was also a leader in the effort to restore the original St. Philips Church which was built in 1861, making it the oldest standing African American church in North Carolina. He was involved in the reclamation of the church's graveyard and the reconstruction of the original 1823 log church. St. Phillips is now part of the Old Salem tour and serves as a center for a variety of community activities.
A long-time community volunteer, Dr. Rodney served as a member of the board of directors of Hospice & Palliative Care Center and was a member of the Wachovia Historical Society and Winston-Salem Rotary. He has also served on the board of trustees of Salem Academy and College and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board, as well as being a member of numerous other boards and commissions.
A published author and well-known lecturer, Dr. Rodney is a graduate of the School of Religion at Malone College and was named that school's 2011 Alumnus of the Year. He earned his master's degree from John Carroll University and holds the Doctor of Divinity degree from Moravian Theological Seminary.
Dr. Rodney leaves behind his wife, Dr. Mae Lipscomb Rodney who is director of Library Services at WSSU, and three children, Elise, Yvette and Cabot.
Dr. Rodney left his mark on WSSU and was a positive influence and counselor for many of the students who have been on this campus over the years. From offering the invocation at football games, convocations and commencement to his keen intellect and commitment to WSSU, his presence will be missed.
The Ram Family certainly offers its deepest condolences to his family. The university will announce arrangements as soon as they are completed.