Thelma Banks Cox, a former assistant superintendent in the Baltimore school system, member of the Maryland Board of Higher Education and board president of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, died Monday at Sinai Hospital of complications from a liver infection.
Services for Dr. Cox, who was 63 and lived on Dolfield Avenue, were being held today at St. James Episcopal Church, 829 N. Arlington Ave.
She retired in 1983 after 33 years in the city school system. She was named a regional superintendent in 1973.
In 1970, she became a member of the State Council for Higher Education, which later became the state board on which she served until 1988.
In 1974, she was chairwoman of a task force of the council that recommended fiscal autonomy for the state colleges and the renaming of Morgan State College as a university.
In 1981, she became the first black person to head the Girl Scouts board, remaining until 1986 and establishing the Thelma Banks Cox Academic Achievement Award for Girl Scouts, the first of which will be presented in June.
She started the Cox Foundation Fund for grants to high school students and the African-American Heritage Society, which arranges tours of landmarks associated with black people and projects.
Born in Cambridge, the former Thelma Banks received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Morgan. She earned a doctorate at the Center for Minority Studies in Washington, which is affiliated with the Union Graduate School of Cincinnati.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Leonard Cox, and her father, Charles Banks, both of Baltimore.