The late Cleveland Hammonds Junior spent more than four decades in education with 27 of those years serving as a school superintendent for four different districts. In 1987, 1990 and again in 1993, Cleveland was selected as one of "The Executive Education 100," described as North America's best and brightest superintendents. He retired in 2003 after serving as the superintendent of the St. Louis Public School District. In his seven years with that district, he was credited with reducing the dropout rate from 21.1% to 7.8%, improving the graduation rate and student attendance, and improved ACT scores. During his period as superintendent, the district was removed from the financially distressed designation by the State of Missouri. Cleveland was also named Administrator of the Year by the North Carolina Association of Education Office Personnel. He received the University Council of Educational Administrators Excellence in Education Award in 2003. Dr. Hammonds served as the president of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators and has been widely recognized for his service to organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, The United Way, and Junior Achievement. He was serving as an adjunct professor of education administration at SIUE when he was fatally stricken in September 2010 while doing what he loved to do; educating students. He was inducted posthumously into the 2011 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.