September 4, 2018
Communications Staff
Adrienne Lash Jones
Adrienne Lash Jones, emerita professor of African American studies Photo credit: Oberlin College Archives

Adrienne Lash Jones, emerita professor of African American studies, passed away on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. She was 83 years old.

Lash Jones earned an undergraduate degree in 1956 from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and later went on to pursue both graduate and doctorate degrees at Case Western Reserve University. Lash Jones spent her career at Oberlin College teaching scores of students. After retiring from the college, she remained active in the community and stayed immersed in issues and projects she valued.

Lash Jones impacted the lives of many in the Oberlin community and beyond. Some colleagues have shared their thoughts on her life:

"Adrienne arranged for my first professional directing job at Karamu House through her role as a long time board member there—just one of her amazing contributions to organizations in Cleveland. She brought Women's and Gender Studies into Africana Studies and was the first tenured Black woman in the department (third in the college), and she introduced an Africanist perspective to the emerging Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies program.

She managed to be fierce and elegant at the same time, and was a power of example to me, many colleagues, and even more students. Her work on the Black Women's club movements was so important! I will miss her so much."

- Caroline Jackson Smith, professor of theater and Africana studies

"Although I had not seen or spoken to Adrienne in almost 15 years, I have the most vivid memory of her relentless pursuit of a more just world. She was brilliant, elegant, and wholly devoted to her students and Oberlin College.

Adrienne was an extremely kind, fair-minded, and supportive colleague. Her loss is consequential. To my former colleagues who were fortunate to have remained in contact with her, I am deeply saddened for their loss too."

- Booker Peek, emeritus professor of Africana studies

Funeral services will be held in Cary, North Carolina, on September 22, 2018. Memorial services in Cleveland are set for 11 a.m. on October 19, 2018, at Mt. Zion Congregational Church, 10723 Magnolia Dr., Cleveland, 44106. Members of the Oberlin community will give reflective comments at the service.

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