Madelon Delany Stent died Nov. 29, 2016, surrounded by her family. Madelon Delany was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Harlem, the loving daughter of Willetta Smith Delany and Judge Hubert T. Delany, one of the first African-American judges in New York City. She was married to Theodore R. Stent, M.D.
Stent completed her baccalaureate degree at her beloved Sarah Lawrence College, where, with her girlfriends, she formed the Ins and Outs, a lifetime circle of friends. She continued her studies and earned a master’s degree in education and Spanish from Wellesley College and a doctorate of education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
She was a maverick and an innovator, a progressive, liberal champion. She was an extraordinary cook and superb dancer. She loved skiing with her family and ice skating with her brother, Harry. She taught many to swim and water ski and even tried wind sailing. She had style, grace, creativity and a zest for life matched by no one. We were always trying to keep up with her!
Stent’s pursuit of a professional career established her as a pioneer in early childhood education. She was Professor Emeritus of education at City College/City University of New York and a trustee of the International Partnership for Service-Learning, Lehman College Art Gallery, as well as on the board of directors for Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. She was also appointed vice president of Academic Affairs at the then newly emerging University of the District of Columbia, spearheading its consolidation into the comprehensive public university it is today.
Stent was president and founder of Urban Ed Inc., the first minority education consultant corporation based in the United States. She was named a Rockefeller Scholar to Bellagio, Italy, where she co-authored the landmark research study, “Minorities in US Institutions of Higher Education.” This study was followed by her book, “Minority Access and Attainment in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education,” which had three reprints in the U.K. She was the founder and director of the African Caribbean Cooperative Exchange Program, a widely praised and innovative endeavor that inspired numerous students both at City College and from foreign countries to pursue graduate studies in global issues. It was a program that hosted students and faculty members from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Swaziland, Dominica and Antigua seeking advanced degrees.
President Jimmy Carter appointed Stent to the U.S Department of Education, National Advisory Council on Black Higher Education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She was also elected to the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations.
Stent was a consultant on the innovative “Sesame Street” TV show, which was the first preschool educational television program. Her educational expertise was also utilized at PBS for preschool programming, and she was one of the originators and authors of the highly successful biweekly children’s newspaper distributed to NYC public schools and published by Random House. She was a published contributor to the New York City Urban League’s “State of Black America” and a consultant for the HRA Headstart Program and Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited, more commonly called HARYOU-ACT, the social activism organization founded by Dr. Kenneth Clark and directed by her close family friend, Cyril DeGrasse Tyson. The group worked to increase opportunities in education