"He had great respect for the community, and he always put students and faculty first."

He devoted his life to higher education and community involvement.

And to know anything about Ralph Tesseneer as an educator, you just have to talk to one of his students - or one of his peers.

"He had great respect for the community," says former NKU Professor of the Year and administrator Dr. James Ramage. "And he always put students and faculty first."

Tesseneer served as NKU's Academic Vice President, Interim President, and President of the University's Foundation during a distinguished educational adminsitrative run. It was here he honed his skills, hiring faculty for the newly-minted Northern Kentucky University in the early 1970s.

There is even a scholarship in his honor. NKU juniors or seniors with a major in psychology and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply for in-state tuition for one academic year.

"He will be missed," Ramage said. "He was one of the finest people."

Dr. Ralph Athen Tesseneer, Jr. of Campbellsville, Ky., died at 5 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 11, at his home. He was 91. 

Funeral services were Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Son of the late Ralph Athen Tesseneer, Sr. and Susan Geneva Kirkland Tesseneer, Ralph Jr. was born in Russellville, Ala., on April 23, 1924. He spent his high school and early college years in Murray, Ky. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific Theater. On May 5, 1946, he married Laura Mae Fisher of Earlington, Ky., and together they raised three children.

Dr. Tesseneer earned a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts College, an M.A. in Educational Administration and Psychology from Peabody College, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Louisiana State University. Dr. Tesseneer was a psychology professor at Western Kentucky State College, McNeese State College, Murray State University (where he was also Dean of the Graduate School), University of Durham in Durham, England (as a visiting professor), and Campbellsville University (where he was vice president of Development).

Tesseneer was the recipient of multiple academic and community awards and recognitions. He served as a counseling psychologist in mental health clinics in communities where he lived, and was also a frequent public speaker and educational consultant.

"He was always a wonderful administrator," Ramage said. "He was someone I could trust and believe in."

Ralph Tesseneer is survived by the following:

A daughter: Susan Tesseneer Walters and husband, Joe, of Campbellsville, Ky.

Son: Ralph Athen Tesseneer, III, M.D., and wife, Beverly, of Spartanburg, S.C.; Herbert Hoffman Tesseneer and wife, Gale, of Florence, Ky.

Two sisters: Myra Jean Tesseneer Cooper and husband John, of Texarkana, Texas; and Susan Tesseneer-Pope and husband Ken, of Campbellsville, Ky.

Three grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Gerald Ware Tesseneer, and a grandson, Ralph Joseph Walters.

Portions of this obituary were reprinted from information published by the Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home, Campbellsville University, and ColumbiaMagazine.com.