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Former college president Cleland dies at age 95

JACKSON — Howard J. Cleland, who served as president of Belhaven College for 17 years, has died at the age of 95.

Officials with Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home say Cleland died Sunday. The cause of death was not released. Graveside services will be held at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Parkway Memorial Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson.

Cleland served as Bailey Junior High School’s principal from 1947 to 1955. When Murrah High School opened in Jackson in 1955, he was selected as the school’s first principal and served until 1961. In 1961, he was named president of Belhaven College — now Belhaven University — and served until 1978.

Survivors include his wife, Gustava; three children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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