The first African-American to lead a four-year college in Connecticut has died.
David Carter served as president of Eastern Connecticut State University for 18 years, leading a dramatic expansión of the school.
He went on to serve as the head of the Connecticut State University System until his retirement in 2012.
According to his former public relations officer, Carter died Saturday morning in Mesa, Ariz. after a battle with cancer.
CSCU President Mark Ojakian released a statement on Carter’s death:
"We were very saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Dr. David Carter. Dr. Carter's dedication to students and access to higher education for young people is a lasting legacy and a guidepost for our continued work. He was a tireless leader and so many students are better off because he worked so hard for what he believed. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones as well as all in the CSCU community who had the opportunity to work with him throughout the years. He will be sorely missed but well remembered."
Retired State Supreme Court Justice Lubbie Harper Jr. also reflected on Carter's passing:
“Dr. David Carter was an exceptional human being. He had a strong sense of justice, and insisted on every individual being treated fairly. He possessed a superior intellect yet was extraordinarily humble. He acted on his belief that his purpose, given his own life experiences, was to reach back whenever and wherever he could to assist those in need of an opportunity. He was the consummate educator, and able to easily relate to all people, regardless of their background or station in life. Our long friendship dates back to his years at the University of Connecticut. I know so well that he was always a person of integrity and possessed impeccable character and moral fortitude.”