Durham, N.C. Charles Edwin Bishop, President Emeritus of the University of Houston, died Saturday January 14, 2012. He resided at Croasdaile Village United Methodist Retirement Home in Durham, N. C.
Dr. Bishop was born June 8, 1921, in Campobello, S.C., the son of Fred and Hattie Bess Bishop. He graduated from the Campobello High School. He received a B.S. degree from Berea College, an institution whose motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth”, became a part of his life. Following World War II he enrolled in the University of Kentucky where he earned an M.S. Degree. In 1948 he was invited to attend The University of Chicago to pursue studies leading to a Ph.D. in Economics.
1950 Bishop was appointed Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at North Carolina State University. He rose through the ranks, and in 1956 was named a William Neal Reynolds Professor. He was appointed Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics in 1957, and in 1965 was named Head of the Department of Economics.
In 1966 Dr. Bishop was appointed Vice President of the University of North Carolina. He moved to Maryland in 1970 when he was named the first Chancellor of the University of Maryland at College Park. In 1974 he was appointed President of the five-campus system of the University of Arkansas. In 1980 he was invited to become President of the four-campus University of Houston System, a large urban university. He retired from the University of Houston in 1986. Following retirement he returned to Chapel Hill, N.C. where he worked for several years with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and with MDC, a nonprofit organization.
Dr. Bishop received many awards and commendations during his distinguished career. He was coauthor of a textbook that was translated into several languages and was used in many countries. Four of his research publications were cited for excellence by the American Agricultural Economics Association. He was named a Fellow of the Association and in 1967 was elected its president. He also was elected to the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta.
Dr. Bishop was deeply committed to public service and served his country in numerous capacities. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force and served as a flight instructor for the B-24. He was a consultant to the U.S Air Force, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and to many universities. He was a member of the Science Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Agriculture and a member of the National Manpower Advisory Committee to the Secretaries of Labor and HEW for eight years. In 1966 he was named Executive Director of President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty. He was a member of President Nixon’s White House Task Force on Rural Development and his Food Advisory Council. President Carter appointed Dr. Bishop to membership on his Commission on an Agenda of the Eighties and on his Advisory Commission on Balanced Growth and Economic Development. He also served on numerous commissions and task forces at the state level. For these efforts he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in North Carolina.
He served on the boards of Houston Industries, Resources for the Future, the National Rural Center, The Farm Foundation, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and MDC Inc.
Dr. Bishop was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Neal Bishop. He is survived by three children by his first wife, Dorothy Anderkin Bishop. The surviving children and their families are his daughter Susan Thompkins and her husband Tilt Thompkins of Weaverville, NC and their daughter Amanda; his daughter Cathy Thorne and her husband Alan Thorne of Midlothian, Va., their son Bryan and his wife Beth, their daughter Michelle; and his son Charles Bishop Jr. and his wife Carol Bishop and their daughters Katie and Claire of Armonk, NY.
For many years, Dr. Bishop was an active member of the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh where he served in many capacities, including Chairman of the Board of Deacons. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church in Durham.
A memorial service will be held in Few Chapel of Croasdaile Village in Durham NC at 11 AM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bishop Scholarship Fund at Berea College, Berea Kentucky, 40404 or to the Benevolence Fund at Croasdaile Village, Durham, NC 27705.
Arrangements for the Bishop family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online memorials www.hallwynne.com, select obituaries.