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Dolores D. Wharton

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Information about Dolores D. Wharton

Profile image of Dolores D. Wharton

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Multicolor
Favorite Food:
Asian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Wonderful.

Birthplace

Born:
7/3/1927
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Foundation Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Multicolor
Favorite Food:
Asian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Wonderful.

Birthplace

Born:
7/3/1927
Birth Location:
New York
See how Dolores D. Wharton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader Dolores D. Wharton was born on July 3, 1927 in New York City to V. Kenneth Duncan and Josephine Bradford. Wharton attended New York University, Danbury State Teacher’s College, and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where she studied modern dance with Martha Graham. She received her B.F.A. degree from Chicago State Teacher’s College in the 1960s.

Wharton and her husband, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., lived in Southeast Asia from 1958 to 1964. Following her return to the United States, Wharton wrote Contemporary Artists of Malaysia: A Biographic Survey, the first academic survey ever written on Malaysian art. Wharton became the first lady of Michigan State University in 1969, when her husband was appointed president of the university. As first lady, Wharton strengthened the university’s relationship with the greater Lansing, Michigan area, and with the student body. President Gerald Ford appointed Wharton to the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1971. She became the first woman, and the first African American, elected to the board of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company in 1974, as well as the boards of the Kellogg Company and the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1976. Wharton initiated and chaired both company’s first social responsibility committees. She was also the first woman, and the first African American, elected to the board of the Gannett Company in 1979. Wharton went on to establish the Fund for Corporate Interns, Inc. (later the Fund for Corporate Initiatives) in 1980. In 1984, Wharton expanded FCI to include the young executives program, a week-long seminar that provided corporate leadership development to minority and women corporate employees.

Throughout her career, Wharton served on numerous other boards including the New York Telephone Company, Tulane University’s board of visitors, The Key Bank National Association, Golub, Inc., the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NPR, and COMSAT. Wharton was also served on the board of the Michigan Council on the Arts, the Aspen Institute, the Asia Society, CSIS, the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, the New York City Center, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Glimmerglass Opera, among others. Wharton has been awarded nine honorary degrees.

Wharton and her husband, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., have two sons, Clifton Wharton III and Bruce Wharton.

Dolores Wharton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2016 and October 4, 2016.

See how Dolores D. Wharton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dolores D. Wharton's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls the social scene in Philadelphia and New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers her family home in New York City, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers her family home in New York City, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton describes the Little Red School House in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her childhood activities in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about race relations in New York City during the 1930s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her stepfather, James W. Owens
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her high school experiences in Danbury, Connecticut, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her high school experiences in Danbury, Connecticut, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her mother's second marriage to James W. Owens
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about racial boundaries in Danbury, Connecticut
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her mother's departure from the Episcopal church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers meeting her husband, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls living in New York City and Connecticut during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers the military service of her friends and family during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her dance training in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers reconnecting with Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. after World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls being neighbors with Marian Anderson in Danbury, Connecticut
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her wedding, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her wedding, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls living with her husband in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls attending the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her lifestyle in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls moving back to New York City in the late 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers living in Singapore with her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls the art scene in Southeast Asia in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her dance program in Malaysia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her children's education in Malaysia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her husband's appointment as president of Michigan State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her role as first lady of Michigan State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her support of her husband's career at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers student protests at Michigan State University in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls joining the Michigan Council for the Arts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls visiting Michigan universities with her husband
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about joining corporate boards in Michigan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton describes the fundraising campaigns at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her husband's presidency of the State University of New York System
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about corporate social responsibility committees
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton describes the Fund for Corporate Initiatives' programs
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Dolores D. Wharton's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls joining the board of Michigan Bell Telephone Company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her corporate boards responsibilities
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls joining the board of the New York Telephone Company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers joining the board of the Phillips Petroleum Company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her experiences on the board of Phillips Petroleum Company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her travels to Norway
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers corporate board members
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls founding corporate social responsibility committees
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her experiences on the board of the Kellogg Company
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton describes responsibilities at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls joining the board of the Gannett Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her not-for-profit board memberships in Albany, New York
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls mentoring college undergraduates in Albany, New York
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton describes the Fund for Corporate Initiatives
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her collaboration with the Aspen Institute
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about the Fund for Corporate Initiatives participants
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her internship programs
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about the age limit rules on corporate boards
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls traveling to South Africa with the Kellogg Company
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her visit to Soweto, South Africa
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls the Kellogg Company's presence in South Africa
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls her husband's appointment as deputy secretary of state
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton remembers Cyrus Vance and Grace Sloane Vance
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about her board activities during the 1990s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls founding a charity in memory of her son, Clifton R. Wharton III
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Dolores D. Wharton recalls retiring from various boards and non-profit programs
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Dolores D. Wharton talks about the process of writing her memoirs
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Dolores D. Wharton reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Dolores D. Wharton reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Dolores D. Wharton describes her plans for the future
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Dolores D. Wharton narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Dolores D. Wharton narrates her photographs, pt. 2