Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Brooklyn T. McMillon, alumnus, former university registrar, former chair of the Health Education Department (now Public Health Education Department) and university archivist, passed away on Jan. 10 at the age of 97. Described as the “caretaker of NCCU’s history,” Mr. McMillon came to the school as a student and, except for his military service during World War II, he never left.
He was born Sept. 19, 1915, in Columbia, Ala., and moved with his family to New Jersey at the age of three. He attended the public schools of Elizabeth and Newark, N.J. He enrolled in 1938 at what was then called the North Carolina College for Negroes. Drafted into the Army at the outset of World War II, he rose to the rank of captain before his honorable discharge, and he then returned to NCC and graduated with a degree in history in 1946. He earned a master’s degree in health education a year later and was promptly hired by NCCU founder Dr. James E. Shepard as a health education instructor.
His hiring marked the start of 65 years of extraordinary service to NCCU, which included nearly 20 years as a public health professor and 16 years as university registrar. Upon his “retirement” in 1982, he embarked upon three decades of volunteer service as the university’s archivist and historian, cataloguing thousands of books, photographs, documents and memorabilia. He was honored last year for his 30 years of volunteer work, and he remained active until shortly before his death.
His dedication to NCCU was acknowledged over the years by recognitions that included an honorary doctorate in 1990, the Chancellor’s Merit Award for “exemplary service to your alma mater” in 2002, and the “Truth and Service” Award in 2003. He was also a “Tar Heel of the Week” in the News & Observer in 1998.
He is survived by his children, Ann L., Lewis T. and Carl S. McMillon; his granddaughters, Erin A. and Courtney A. McMillon; his nieces and nephews, and numerous friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the NCCU Foundation. Donations can be made here https://www.nccu.edu/donation/ and should include "Memorial Fund" in the field provided for other designations.