Distinguished AAMU educator Virginia Caples dies

Distinguished AAMU educator Virginia Caples dies
Dr. Virginia Caples (Source: Alabama A&M University)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Alabama A&M University announced the death of longtime educator and administrator Dr. Virginia Caples.

Caples died on Monday. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

In her 40-year history with AAMUm, Caples held several top positions, including interim president, provost and vice president for academic affairs, associate dean, distinguished university professor, and 1890 administrator. She became the first woman to lead the university in 1995, a position she was selected for again in 2005.

Caples was actively involved in local, state, national and international affairs related to her professional area of family and consumer sciences.

As a leader and active member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), she served as president and chair of the board of directors, vice president for professional development, and chair of the Council for Accreditation. She also served as president and secretary of the Association of Administrators of Human Sciences. In recognition of her leadership and professional involvement, Caples received the Distinguished Service Award of the AAFCS in 1999, which is the highest recognition bestowed on a member.

Caples was also recognized by her colleagues and peers as a leader, role model, educator, and scholar through her selection as Outstanding African-American in the Agricultural  Sciences, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Iowa State University and Alcorn State University Distinguished Alumni Awards in Family and Consumer Sciences, National Institutes of Health Extramural Associates Fellowship, and Leadership Alabama and Huntsville/Madison County and leadership programs. She also earned numerous other local and national awards, including

In December 2005 and January 2006, Dr. Caples received a trilogy of awards from three prestigious community organizations; First Annual Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award by the Huntsville Madison County NAACP; the Mentor of the Year Award by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Huntsville Chapter; and the Martin Luther King Unity Award from Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Delta Theta Lambda Chapter.

She also served as a member of the board of directors for Girls Inc, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Harris Home for Children, the Volunteer Center, and Department of Human Resources for Madison County.

AAMU established the Virginia Caples Lifelong Learning Institute (VCLLI) in honor of Caples.  With the opening of the VCLLI, AAMU joined the ranks of its sister Institution, Hampton University, to become only the second Historically Black College and University and the first 1890 land grant institution, in the nation to address learning and advanced quality of life for the older adult population.

Caples was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and the Greater Huntsville Chapter of The Links Incorporated. She was a member of the Church Street Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher and chair of the Diaconate.

She was married to Hundley Batts Sr. Together they owned and operated "Your Community Station" and "Huntsville's Heritage Station."

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