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Dr. Rex Crawley loses battle with cancer


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It’s not every day that you meet someone like Dr. Rex Crawley.  With his bright smile, colorful bow ties, and amazing outlook on life, it was near impossible not to be a happier person while in his presence.

It’s with great sorrow that RMU Sentry Media must report on the passing of Dr. Crawley after RMU President Gregory Dell’Omo issued a bereavement notice earlier today that read:

Dear Members of the RMU Community,

It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the passing of a dear friend and colleague of Robert Morris University, Dr. Rex Crawley.  With his wife Daria by his side, Rex passed away peacefully this morning at Shadyside Hospital after dealing with complications from his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

As Professor of Communication, Rex served in many important roles at RMU, most recently as the Endowed Chair and Executive Director of the Uzuri Think Tank. Through his leadership of the Black Male Leadership Development Institute, Rex had a profound and lasting impact on hundreds of young men throughout the Pittsburgh region — just one example of his exemplary service to the larger community.

Rex’s wife Daria also serves among our faculty as an Associate Professor of Management. Together Rex and Daria have two sons, Xavier and Vaughn.

Rex will be missed greatly as he was such an integral part of the RMU family. As we all reflect on his passing and begin to grieve and mourn his loss, counselors are available on campus for anyone who wants to talk. The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Nicholson Center in Room 259 or can be reached by calling (412) 397-5900.

Please join me in extending our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to Daria, the two boys and the entire Crawley family during this most difficult time and remember them in your thoughts and prayers. As funeral arrangements are made and details become available, I will pass them along to you.


Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph. D.


RMU Sentry Media is working on a special tribute to Dr. Crawley’s life and legacy and is encouraging everyone to please submit a personal photo with or of Dr. Crawley along with a message about him or to his family and friends during this most difficult time.  If interested, please submit all content to [email protected] by Sunday, December 1 at 5 p.m.

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6 Responses to “Dr. Rex Crawley loses battle with cancer”

  1. Richmond Adebiaye on November 25th, 2013 4:41 pm

    May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Dr. Crawley taught me in my second year during my doctorate program and he was a man full of life. I never even knew he had this disease as he was always very friendly. I am just so sad to hear this. I pray that the Almighty God gives the family the fortitude to bear this loss. Amen


  2. Alissa Dorman on November 25th, 2013 5:17 pm

    My heart broke when I heard the news. Thoughts and prayers are with the Crawley family!


  3. Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr. on November 25th, 2013 11:52 pm

    Were it not for Dr. Rex L Crawley, who was the Chairman of my Doctoral Committee, I would not be a Dr. today.. He ripped my dissertation draft numerous times, but provided the feedback necessary to get me back on track. I was also able to work with Dr. Crawley on the Financial Literacy Program at RMU. I was also part of the graduating class of 2006 that was dubbed the infamous “Fab-Five” it was the first time in RMU history that five African-Americans received their Doctorate degrees, but for Dr. Crawley it would not have happened. We also worked together on the Minority Research Policy Group of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a first for this region and a worthwhile experience and he was the embodiment of the BMLDI. One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous quotes was, “Life’s most urgent question, what are you doing for others?” There is no need to ask what Dr. Crawley did for others, because doing for others was his life’s work! THANK YOU DR. CRAWLEY…..You made every moment count, even the tough ones and not once did we hear you complain.
    Much Love…….and prayers for your wonderful family!
    Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr.


  4. Rest in Peace Dr. Rex Crawley | The Soul Pitt on November 26th, 2013 11:03 am

    […] Click here to read the announcement of his passing […]

  5. Craig Dawson on November 26th, 2013 2:56 pm

    One of the hardest things that I have ever had to do was to let my mother know that Dr. Crawley had lost his
    battle to cancer. She simply adored him. From the way that he took care of my youngest brother Kipp when
    he pledged Kappa at Ohio University, to the person he became as a loving father, educator, and Christian.

    The Dawson, Wilson, and Fields families loved you as if you were one of our own. GOD BLESS YOU. I am
    writing this with tears in my eyes. The only way I could calm my mother down was to let her know that THE

    To the Crawley Family may God help you through these difficult times.

    Craig Dawson
    V.P. Sales and Marketing
    Soul Pitt Media


  6. John C. Womack, PE on December 4th, 2013 10:43 pm

    I am shocked to hear of the passing of my Ohio University brethren, I remember his presence in Athens as if it were yesterday. Rex was one of the most intelligent and talented and maximized his God-given talent and will always be an inspiration to those he touched.


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