Paul Phillips Cooke

Paul Phillips Cooke

The Forty-Fourth Laurel Wreath Wearer [1995]

Paul Phillips Cooke [Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter] was born in New York [NY] on June 29, 1917, and moved to Washington [DC] in 1921. He was a product of the DC Public School System and graduated with honors from Dunbar High School [1933). Cooke matriculated at Miner Teachers College and earned a BS degree [1937}. He also earned a MA degree from New York University (1941], a MA degree from Catholic University (1943], and an Ed.D degree from Columbia University [1947].

Cooke began. his professional career as an English professor at his alma mater in 1941, and became president of the DC Teachers College - the successor entity to Miner Teachers College - in 1966. He retired from the College in 1974 and became a consultant to the World Peace through Law Center. He was also a consultant to the National Bar Association, Tntemational Council of University Presidents, National Council of Teacher Education, and American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

To acknowledge his many years of service to higher education in the District of Columbia and throughout the world, the University of the District of Columbia established the Paul Phillips Cooke Lecture Series [1979] and the Paul Phillips Cooke Scholarship [1984]. Cooke, a renowned scholar, authored over 200 publications and papers during his distinguished career.

His reputation for achievement earned him the respect and admu:ation of numernus organizations, including the Catholic lnterracial COLmcil of Washington [DC], the American Veterans Committee, the World Veterans Federation, and The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life.

Cooke, a devout Catholic, received the Papal Medal "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" for extraordinary services and leadership to the Catholic Church in 1984 from Pope John Paul II. Cooke, a 1935 Xi initiate, was the driving force behind the establishment of the Beta Kappa at Miner Teachers College in 1940, and was both an official and unofficial advisor to the chapter for decades. He was a Polemarch of the Xi and a member of the initiation demonstration team at the 26th Grand The Eastern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Handbook for the 20th Century Chapter meeting [1936]. Cooke affiliated with the Washington [DC] Alumni Chapter in 1941. He was a Keeper of Records and the 15th Polemarch [1954-56].

Cooke was a member of the Achievement Commission during the tenure of Grand Polemarch James Edward Scott, and a speaker at the 44th Grand Chapter meeting [1954]. He was a principal source of historical information for the authors of the first three editions of "The History of the Eastern Province" and authored an article on the 1930s appearing in the Diamond Jubilee publication - "Seventy Five years of Achievement."

His outstanding achievements in education and his contributions to society earned him the 44th Laurel Wreath.