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Presidential Lecture Series

Eddie Knowles

Recognition Year: 

Vice President for student life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

"Talent, Opportunity, and Career Paths for African American Men"

February 5, 2008
Atrium, Millett Hall

EDDIE ADE KNOWLES is vice president for student life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he is respected as an expert and experienced leader in student life administration, as well as a committed advocate for student life. Prior to his appointment in April 2001, he served as Rensselaer’s dean of students for 18 years. Dr. Knowles joined Rensselaer—the nation’s oldest technological university—as assistant dean of students in 1977, and became the Institute’s first director of minority student affairs in 1979.

In addition to his work as a student life administrator, Dr. Knowles is also a widely acclaimed percussionist, with credits on numerous recordings by Gil Scott-Heron. As an adjunct associate professor of arts at Rensselaer, Dr. Knowles teaches Afro-Cuban drumming.

Dr. Knowles earned a doctorate in public administration and policy from the University at Albany’s Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Lincoln University and a master’s degree in higher education from Columbia University.

Dr. Knowles has received wide recognition and honors for his work in education, community service, and the arts in his home of Troy, New York. He is a member of the board of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Center for Urban Youth in Technology at the University at Albany, the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity in New York, and the Edwin Gould Foundation for Children in New York.

Prior to his coming to the Capital Region, Dr. Knowles was an assistant professor and administrator in the City University of New York.