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Ray Skinner

Ray Skinner

Photo courtesy of: Patton College of Education

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University mourns Professor Emeritus of Education Ray Skinner

Upward Bound pioneer remained supportive of program after retirement

Professor Emeritus in the Patton College of Education Ray Skinner, 86, died at Riverside Hospital in Columbus on July 15.

According to his obituary, Skinner taught at Ohio University for 30 years and during his first year, he submitted a proposal that was funded by the U.S. Department of Education to start the Upward Bound Program.

"Dr. Skinner has been a tremendous supporter of our Upward Bound program," said Director of Upward Bound Kwabena Owusu-Kwarteng. "In addition to setting up and supporting the Ray and Marilyn Skinner Upward Bound Scholar Athlete Award (UBSAA) in 2010, he was an active member on our advisory board.

"He was always full of life and ready with stories of his and Marilyn's travels as well as his experiences with Upward Bound. We dedicated our end of summer awards ceremony to his memory and will be looking to honor his legacy some more in the coming year. His loss is deeply felt."

Skinner also directed many other programs such as the Ohio University Governor's Scholars for Talented and Gifted Students, The National Science Foundation Summer Institutes for Earth Science Teachers, and the Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

A native of the Columbus area, he graduated from Carroll High School in 1944. During his senior year, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

Using the G.I. Bill, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State University before obtaining his Ph.D. from Kent State University. Before coming to Ohio University, he taught math, biology and earth science at the high school level in northern Ohio and coached basketball for 15 years.

During his lifetime, Skinner received many distinguished service awards for his professional career as well as his service to the community and is included in a number of halls of fame.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Lamont Skinner; two daughters, Sarah Jane and Suzanne Skinner of Florida; and stepson Sam DiLiberto and his wife Bunny of The Plains.

"Dr. Skinner is and will always be a beloved member of our faculty," said Patton College Dean Renee Middleton. "He was responsible for the writing of our first Upward Bound grant and has had a significant impact on the lives of students who aspire to go to college. More than that, he has continued to be supportive of the mission of Upward Bound. He has established a legacy that we will continue to cherish and honor."

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Ohio University Walter Hall Rotunda. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Upward Bound Program, c/o Ohio University Patton College of Education, McCracken Hall, Suite 124, Athens, OH 45701.