BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D from a department of political science in the United States has died. She was 82 years old.
Dr. Jewel L. Prestage served as chair of Southern University's Political Science Department for 18 years. According to officials at Southern University, she became the nation's leading catalyst for the development of African-American Ph.D.'s in political science.
Her husband of 60 years, Dr. James L. Prestage, was chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus from 1982-1985.
Baton Rouge campus Acting Chancellor Flandus McClinton said, "Dr. Jewel Limar Prestage devoted many years of her life to Southern University. She was a loyal and devoted graduate of Southern University. In her capacity as faculty member, department chair and dean, she directly influenced the lives of countless students and left a remarkable legacy which we are proud and privileged to witness, remember and appreciate."
SU System President Dr. Ronald Mason Jr., said, "The Jaguar Nation mourns the loss of Dr. Jewel Limar Prestage, a trailblazer who was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in political science in the United States."
"From her years as an undergraduate, to her retirement in 1989 from the Southern University System as the dean of the SUBR School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, she was a true scholar and leader whose pioneering works in political science and academic research are enduring. We extend our condolences and prayers to her family and friends."