This nationally-known educator established his reputation serving for 10 years as president of Miles College in Birmingham, Ala. He also served on that city's Human Relations Commission in the '60s troubled times. This 1941 alumni of Augusta's Paine College in 1973 became its first black president in its then-90-year-history. He was a charter member of the Augusta-Richmond County Human Relations Commission and its vice president. He met with President Richard Nixon in 1973 to discuss increased federal funding for black institutions of higher learning. He died three months later at 59 and was buried on the Paine College campus that he loved. Then Urban League Executive Director Vernon Jordan, who attended the funeral, said Pitts came to symbolize the cause of black colleges "as much as anyone in our time."
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