Madelon Delany Stent died on Nov. 29, surrounded by her family.

She 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, MD.

She 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 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, superb dancer, loved skiing with her family and ice skating with her brother Harry. She taught many to swim and water ski, and she even tried windsailing. She had style, grace, creativity and a zest for life matched by no one.

Dr. 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 and Lehman College Art Gallery, as well as on the board of directors for Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. She was vice president of academic affairs at the University of the District of Columbia, spearheading its consolidation into the comprehensive public university it is today.

She 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 was followed by her book, Minority Access and Attainment in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education, which had three reprints in the UK. 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.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Dr. 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.

She was a consultant on Sesame Street, the first preschool educational television program. Her educational expertise was also utilized at PBS for pre-school programming, and she was one of the originators and authors of the highly successful 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, State of Black America; and a consultant for the HRA Headstart Program and the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited — 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 and employment for young blacks in Harlem and teach residents how to work with government agencies to meet their needs and demands. For many years, she was a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Fordham University and taught as a demonstration teacher of early childhood education at Wellesley College, Queens College and Columbia.

A prolific lecturer, researcher, assistant, and professor, she was on numerous research evaluation studies throughout the country. She was also director of evaluation research studies for more than nine school districts. She was very active in the Riverdale Community as a member of School Board #10, the Spuyten Duyvil Pre-School board of directors, and the board of directors of the Riverdale Mental Health Clinic.

Dr. Stent was the author of many articles, books and professional presentations on higher education, cultural pluralism and minority achievement and received honors from many universities and colleges. She was most proud of her sincere dedication to the Historically Black Colleges & Universities, and she served on many boards.

She and her family loved traveling, and she traveled the world meeting, greeting and creating an extended family. She treasured living in her lifetime communities of Harlem and Riverdale. She had a special love for her Oak Bluffs porch, where she greeted all from childhood to contemporary friends. There was also her Caribbean heart in Antigua, where her garden and birds flourished.

Her contributions to the world of education and empowerment of the African American community are only surpassed by her connections to individuals in the world community. She was an exceptional woman who shattered glass ceilings and opened doors for many black women; a genuine role model.

Her extraordinary legacy will continue through her devoted children: Michelle D. Stent, JD, MPA, Nicole M. Stent, Esq., and Evan Theodore Stent; her two grandchildren, Imani Simone Stent Graham and Mark Anthony Stent Graham; her loving brother Harry M. Delany MD; her sister Sharon M. Mickey; and sister in law Barbara Delany. Madelon also leaves many loving cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as her dedicated “family” in Oak Bluffs and Antigua.

All will mourn her passing and exuberance for life.

A celebration of life service was held Dec. 7 at Christ Church in Bronx, N.Y.