Yale '62 - Obituaries - Ramon Luis Santiago

Ramon Luis Santiago

Born: August 20, 1939
Died: March 12, 1997

Ray Santiago was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and moved with his family to New York at age 13. He came to Yale from High School of Automotive Trades in Brooklyn. Ray was a member of Davenport where he competed on the football, basketball, baseball, and softball teams. He was a member of Dwight Hall and was Junior Manager and then Senior Manager of the Delivery Agency.

Ray was an English major and was awarded four years of scholarships.

He received a Master's degree in English also at Yale. He earned his Ph.D. at Columbia Teachers College in Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language.

At the time of his death, Ray was a Professor of Education on the faculty of Lehman College of the City University of New York, where he directed the college's English as a Second Language Program. He was appointed to the post in 1991, the college said. Ray was a nationally recognized authority on bilingual studies and programs in English as a second language.

Starting in 1963, his teaching career took him from the University of Puerto Rico to the New York City public schools and Temple University. Throughout his career, he pursued the theory and practice of educating students who did not have English as their mother tongue, writing and editing several books and articles on the subject.

In 1980, he founded the Bilingual Education Service Center at Georgetown University, in Washington, and directed it until 1989 while also teaching degree programs for elementary and secondary teachers. He was an adviser to dozens of other institutions and agencies.

He was working as a private consultant when Lehman College brought him back to the academic world. At Lehman, besides teaching, he oversaw revisions of the curriculum and closely coordinated his second-language program with the English department.

Ray and his family lived in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx at the time of his death. He succumbed to bone cancer. He was survived by his wife, Ramonita Adorno de Santiago; a son, Ramon Jr., and a daughter, Paloma Santiago, both of the Bronx; his father, Dionisio, of Bayamon; two brothers, Antonio, of Bayamon, and Pedro, who lives in Louisiana; and six sisters, Marcelina Rivera of Miami, Lucy Tosado of Brooklyn, Judith Alvarez of Rome, New York, Julia Santiago of Lakewood, New Jersey, and Maria L. Velez and Gladys Figueroa, both of Puerto Rico.