Statement from the Prichard Committee
for Academic Excellence
August 27, 2010
It is with great sadness that the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence announces the passing of its executive director, Dr. Robert F. Sexton of Lexington.
Bob had led the Prichard Committee since its creation in 1983, building the grassroots organization into a nationally recognized model of citizen engagement on behalf of improving education at all levels. The committee will honor his legacy by continuing the important work that framed his career of public service.
A Louisville native, Bob held a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and had been awarded honorary degrees from Berea College, Georgetown College, Bellarmine University and Eastern Kentucky University.
His many civic contributions included serving as a member of the board that created the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington and on the boards of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center and the New Opportunity School for Women. He also was a founder of Kentucky's Governor's Scholars Program and of the Kentucky Center for Public Issues.
His national board service included Editorial Projects in Education (publishers of Education Week and Teacher Magazine), the Education Trust, the Center for Teaching Quality, the Education Commission of the States and the American Association for Higher Education. He also served on advisory groups for several national foundations.
Bob, 68, died Thursday night, August 26, 2010, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center following a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pam, and children Rebecka Sexton, Robert Sexton, Ouita Michel (Chris), Paige Papka Richardson, Perry Papka, granddaughters Willa Dru and Lily Kathryn and the Prichard Committee staff. Memorial plans are pending.