Robert Cecil Cook (1945-1954)
Dr. Robert Cecil Cook (no relation to Joe Cook) became the institution’s fourth president following his discharge from the Army on July 6, 1945.
President Cook, whose credentials as an educator were impeccable, placed academic development at the top of his agenda. During his tenure, the Graduate Studies division was created, and the Reading Clinic, the Latin American Institute and the Speech and Hearing Clinic were established.
Greek presence on campus was increased, the band program was expanded, the “Dixie Darlings” precision dance team was formed, and enrollment soared to more than 2,000. The athletic program was strengthened, as coaches Reed Green and Pie Vann returned from military service and resumed their former positions.
In December 1954, Dr. Cook became the first president to leave the office voluntarily, when he resigned the presidency to accept a position as vice president and general manager of the Jackson State Times, a new daily newspaper.