Lawrence Young

Obituary of Lawrence W. Young

Lawrence W. Young, Jr, 79, departed this life, Monday, April 25, 2022 in his Chandler, Arizona residence. Born December 30, 1942 in Cleveland, O., he was the son of the late Lawrence W. Young, Sr. and Maggie P. Young. Larry was a class of 1961 graduate of Glenville High School, Cleveland, O and a 1965 graduate of Miami of Ohio University. A Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, he was initially inducted into the Delta Upsilon Chapter (chartered at Miami) in 1965. Having earned degrees in English and Literature he began his esteemed career as a classroom teacher in the academic disciplines through which he devoted his life. During his career in academe, Larry served his undergraduate alma mater, for 17 years as Director of Minority Student Affairs. His talents and achievements were culminated in his 1983 career appointment as Director of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC), Pennsylvania State University, a position he was to hold and advance until his retirement in 2004.


A thoroughly grounded student of literature, language, and the arts, with an especial focus in African American and Diaspora arts and letters, during his tenure as president of the Black Alumni Association, Miami of Ohio University, he created the Marion Musgrave Libraries Acquisition Fund. He had a profound impact on the lives of countless African American and other Students of Color who came of age in his tutelage in the PRCC. “Mr. Young,” his calling name for his charges and for many among his peerage, was a tireless mentor and advocate in matter contemporaneously termed diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, laboring to ensure students’ and colleagues’ comprehension of and passionate embrace of their roles and responsibilities for their personal and career development, and Black Alumni Association, for their community. His commitment and passion and advocacy were legendary in the University and State College communities, as he frequently shared his perspectives in Letters to the Editor, Centre Daily Times. A cardinal contribution, even tribute, from Larry was his untiring service to the design and construction phase of the HUB-Robeson center, working to ensure that the building’s motif unequivocally reflected African culture, and art. Following his retirement from PSU, Larry, one who barely, if at all, noticed soaring, sweltering temperatures, relocated to greater Phoenix, AZ and there pursued a fun, part-time sales position at Ikea.


Larry was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Francis Young Green (James) Asheville, NC. He is survived by nephews Kevin Green (Cleo) and Keith Green (Keyshawn) Asheville, NC and by nieces, and nephews, Azana, Brea, Keyona, Kennedi, Tobias and a host of cousins.


In sympathy with Larry’s family, his brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, join his “cloud of witnesses” celebrating his life of service and grieving his passing, confident that he is now regaling the angels and showcasing his commitment to honor purpose ahead of probability.


Friends interested to contribute to memorials to Larry are encouraged to consider a gift to the Larry Young Scholarship Fund at the Pennsylvania State University or to forthcoming opportunities that will be announced in PSU publications and University-related organizations’ media, and in social media.

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