NEED Mourns the Passing of President and CEO Sylvester Pace


NEED Mourns the Passing of President and CEO Sylvester Pace

The Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED) is mourning the death of longtime President and CEO Sylvester Pace who died yesterday after a lengthy illness.

NEED’s board president Ann Hoover of Bayer MaterialScience said, “It’s a sad day for not only those of us at NEED who knew and love Sylvester, but also for all of Pittsburgh and the community that he spent so much of his life fighting for. He believed so strongly in the mission of NEED. The entire city of Pittsburgh has lost a great man, a selfless advocate, and a devoted husband and father. We’ll miss him dearly at NEED.”

Sylvester Pace was born in the Hill District section of Pittsburgh where coming from a working class family he learned the value of higher education. Furthermore, as a student at Schenley High School he quickly realized that academic achievement and excellence were the keys to realizing his own life goals.

Mr. Pace carried that passion for education through his dedication to his craft by serving as an advocate for troubled youth throughout his seventeen years of employment with Pressley Ridge School and The Abraxas Foundation. Then, after a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, he gave up the lucrative healthcare industry to follow his passion, which was blazing a pathway to college for young inner-city African American students.

As the president and CEO of NEED, Mr. Pace transformed the organization over the last decade into a nationally recognized college access program. Through his leadership, NEED leveraged an annual two million dollars in funds in scholarships/grants, financial assistance, mentoring, internships and counseling to knock down the barriers to higher education.

Mr. Pace was a proud and dedicated undergraduate degree holder from Cheyney University, and also held a Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, he found time to dedicate to his lifelong learning as a doctoral candidate at Duquesne University’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Educational Leaders (IDPEL).

He served on countless boards over his lifetime and won accolades, awards, recognitions, and the like too numerous to list. He leaves behind his wife of more than 30 years, Rhonda Pace, as well as two daughters Rachel and Stephanie Pace.

“A transition plan will be addressed by the NEED Board of Directors once the community, his family, his friends, and our staff have had time to properly mourn his passing and to pay tribute to his legacy," Hoover said.

Contact: Ann Hoover
Date: 6-9-2012
President of the Board of Directors, NEED

Contributions in Memory of Sylvester Pace

In Lieu of Flowers the family of Mr. Pace would like contributions made to NEED in memory of Sylvester Pace. Please send all donations to:

The Warner Centre
332 Fifth Avenue, 1st Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

Please remember to put in the memo: In Memory of Sylvester Pace.

Funeral Arrangements

Visitation: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Omega Memorial Service: 7:00pm
Location: Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, 271 Paulson Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Funeral Service: Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Location: Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, 271 Paulson Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206