​​Funeral Services Set, Scholarship Established for Former Board Chair Elton N. Dean, Sr.

News Date
dean, elton

By Hazel Scott/Lois G. Russell

Funeral services for former ASU Board Chairman Elton N. Dean, Sr. will be held on Saturday, June 18, at noon in the arena of the University’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome. Dean died on June 7 after a lengthy illness.

Dean graduated from Alabama State University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics. He served his beloved alma mater in a number of capacities, including Chairman of the Board of Trustees during a period of unprecedented growth and transformation at the University, to include the construction of multi-million dollar academic buildings, major renovation and reconstruction of the John Garrick Hardy Student Center, new residence halls and the ASU Stadium.

“Hornet Nation is deeply saddened by the loss of former Board Chairman Elton N. Dean, Sr.,” said President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. “Chairman Dean was a beloved member of Hornet Nation who was a great contributor to this University, particularly as the leader of the Board of Trustees during a period of unprecedented growth. Chairman Dean deeply loved his alma mater and was committed to the advancement of its mission and vision. He truly embodied the best of that ‘Ole ‘Bama State Spirit’ in all of his professional and personal achievements. His presence will be missed, but his legacy will live forever at Alabama State University.”


The current members of the Board of Trustees have established the Elton N. Dean, Sr., Memorial Scholarship to honor the legacy of the former Chairman of the Board.

“I really feel that it is appropriate to establish this scholarship to honor this man who gave so much to Alabama State University during his lifetime,” said current Board Chairperson, Brenda Brown Dillard, who initiated the scholarship. “Elton Dean truly loved his alma mater, and he showed that love by giving of his time and resources to support ASU students, athletics and other initiatives. While he was chairman and even after his tenure on the Board of Trustees ended, Elton gave his all to Alabama State University. I had the opportunity to work with him on behalf of ASU even before I was appointed to the Board. I will always remember his unwavering dedication and commitment to ASU.”

Dillard added that the current Board of Trustees is working with former Board members who are supporting the scholarship fund, which will benefit ASU students.

Dean’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Elton N. Dean Scholarship fund by visiting  www.alasu.edu/ChairmanDean.


Mr. Dean’s service extended beyond his alma mater and into his community. He was elected to represent District 2 on the Montgomery County Commission as a Democrat in 2000. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Commission in 2004 and named Chairman in 2009.  Mr. Dean continued to serve as Chairman until his death.

During his tenure on the commission, he worked across party lines with other local leaders to land record levels of jobs and investment, at times topping much larger metro areas such as Birmingham and Huntsville.

Mr. Dean implemented an annual sales tax holiday for back-to-school purchases, and he played a key role in plans for a $55 million whitewater park near downtown Montgomery.

A tireless advocate for education, Dean was a key supporter of a 2020 property tax increase to provide increased funding for Montgomery Public Schools.

Dean, who grew up in Montgomery during the civil rights era, was a successful businessman who also served on numerous boards and committees in support of various agencies and efforts in the River Region.

Along the way, Dean received numerous awards and recognitions. His commitment to better his community was recognized with the naming of a 15-acre park along Old Selma Road in his honor in 2020.

Despite his prominence as a leader, Dean remained humble in his approach to service and the achievement of his life’s goals. He once described his leadership style by saying, “It is not about me or how I feel. It is about doing the right things for the good of the people I serve.”