Gus T. Ridgel Death | Dr. Gus T. Ridgel Dead – Obituary | Passed Away

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Dr. Gus T. Ridgel Death – Dead | Passed Away – Obituary

Gus T. Ridgel Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Gus T. Ridgel.

Having heard about this great loss, the family of this individual is passing through pains, mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved.

This departure was confirmed through social media posts made by Twitter users who pour out tributes, and condolences to the family of the deceased.

We are saddened to learn that Dr. Gus T. Ridgel, Mizzou’s first Black student, has died. He was 95.

Ridgel enrolled in 1950, and earned his master’s in economics — with honors — in just one year. Mizzou honors his legacy with fellowships in his name and named the atrium of the new Lucile Bluford Hall in his honor

Kentucky State University mourns the death of Dr. Gus Ridgel

Kentucky State University beloved administrator and campus luminary, Dr. Gus Ridgel, 95, whose dedication and life-long work transformed the institution, has departed this life. Ridgel died Saturday morning, University officials confirmed.

News of Ridgel’s death brought a deep sense of loss to the campus on the Hill and the entire University community.

University President Dr. M. Christopher Brown II said his friend and colleague fought a good fight. Losing Dr. Ridgel will profoundly impact the Thorobred family.

“Amid this pandemic, any loss of life is beyond difficult given the restrictions we face in celebrating our loved ones. Thorobreds everywhere will remember and honor the excellence that Dr. Ridgel demonstrated throughout his life and career at Kentucky State with a commitment to our students and the institution. He genuinely loved all of Kentucky State. We will miss his presence and I will miss his counsel,” Brown said.

Ridgel most recently served as senior advisor to the president. As senior advisor to the president, Ridgel advised and educated Dr. Brown on significant matters, including the legacy and history of the institution. Ridgel retired in 1996 as vice president for finance and administration at Kentucky State after a long career in higher education.

Ridgel’s life is a testament to his fight for social justice and equality. He was part of Concerned Student 1950, the first group of African-American students admitted to the University of Missouri. Ridgel was admitted to the graduate program in economics in 1950 after civil rights groups won a court ruling desegregating the university. Blazing a trail, Ridgel received a master’s degree in economics with honors two semesters later.

Ridgel would later earn a doctorate in economics at the University of Wisconsin and conduct postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago, Duke University, and other institutions.

In 2018, the University of Missouri named a new residence hall atrium in honor of his civil rights activism.

Ridgel believed in the good of humanity, and he believed in Kentucky State. He never lost his spirit and loved every visit to the College on the Hill, Brown said.

The HCF organization is saddened to learn of the passing of Civil Rights Activist and #HBCU alum Dr. Gus T. Ridgel.

Dr. Ridgel was the first graduate student to be admitted to the University of Missouri in 1950 after civil rights groups won a court ruling to desegregate the University. He received a master’s degree in economics with honors in 1951.

PICTURED: Dr. Ridgel and other students spend time in Read Hall, the former home of the Student Union, in 1951.

Dr. Ridgel graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln University, Missouri, in Jefferson City. In 1951, he enrolled in the doctorate program for economics at the University of Wisconsin. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Ridgel conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and Duke University. In 1960, he accepted a faculty position at Kentucky State University. He eventually rose to serve as Vice President of Finance and Administration and most recently worked as a senior advisor to the KSU President, Dr. M. Christopher Brown, II.

In 1987, the Gus T. Ridgel Graduate Fellowships were established in his honor. In 2018, Dr. Ridgel was honored through the naming of the atrium in the Lucille Bluford Residence Hall as well as through recognition at the Pre-Graduation Celebration by the University of Missouri.

A true trailblazer that fought for equality, courage, and humanity. Dr. Ridgel manifests his gifts to enable future generations of Black students to pursue their education. He profoundly impacted the movement to improve inclusion and diversity within the higher ed system. We honor his life and legacy and share our condolences with his friends and family.


We are still working on getting more details about the death, as family statement on the death is yet to be released.

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