Bainbridge native Stacey Close recognized for influence

Published 2:21pm Monday, February 3, 2014

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — A Bainbridge native is being honored for his work in the African American community in Connecticut.

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Stacey Close, interim associate vice president for equity and diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named one of the 100 most influential African Americans in Connecticut by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Connecticut NAACP will hold a press conference at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, at noon on Dec. 21 to recognize the honorees. Derrick Johnson, Mississippi NAACP state conference president, will be the keynote speaker at the event.

“We are very proud of Dr. Close for receiving this honor,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “Stacey is a noted scholar in the field of African Studies and was one of our most popular professors during his time teaching history on our campus. As the associate vice president for equity and diversity, he is now providing leadership in Eastern’s efforts to maintain our reputation as an inclusive, multi-cultural campus.”

A native of Bainbridge, Close has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. A professor of history, Close received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Ohio State University and a B.A. from Albany State College in Georgia. He has taught courses on African Americans, African History and Southern History. In addition, he has presented at such conferences as the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and the Professional and Organizational Development Network.

“Dr. Close is an integral part of the Easter Connecticut State University team and we congratulate him on being one of the NAACP’s most influential black leaders in Connecticut,” said Gregory Gray, president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. “We applaud Dr. Close for his commitment to higher education and ensuring that Connecticut’s students achieve excellence.”

On Eastern’s campus, Close has served as chairperson for the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and Geography; director of the Center for Educational Excellence; and NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative. He has served on such committees as the Promotion and Tenure Committee, AAUP-Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee and Athletics Advisory Committee.

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