In honor of Black History Month, throughout February, we will recognize a few of our outstanding black alumni for their exemplary accomplishments.
The late John B. Turner was Case Western Reserve University’s first African-American dean, serving as dean of the School of Applied Social Science (now the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences) from 1968 to 1973.
Turner earned his master’s in social work from the university in 1948 and his PhD in 1959.
His academic career began in 1950 at Atlanta University, where he was an instructor. He returned to Case Western Reserve in 1955 to be a lecturer. Turner rose through the academic ranks and, in 1963, he became a professor.
Prior to his academic career, Turner served in World War II in the Army Air Corps as a Tukegee Airman. In addition to involvement with many organizations, Turner served the community as commissioner of East Cleveland.
Turner went on to become a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, retiring in 1992.