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Ruth J. Simmons

Academic administrator and college president Ruth J. Simmons was born on July 3, 1945 near Grapeland, Texas to Fanny and Isaac Stubblefield. After the family moved to Houston in 1952, Simmons graduated top of her class from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1963. She then received her B.A. degree in French from Dillard University in 1967 and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in romance languages and literature from Harvard University in 1970 and 1973.

Simmons became as an assistant professor of French at the University of New Orleans in 1973; and, two years later, was promoted to assistant dean of their College of Liberal Arts. In 1977, she was hired by California State University, Northridge where she served as administrative coordinator for their National Endowment for the Humanities Liberal Studies Project until 1978 when she was made acting director of international programs and associate professor of Pan-African studies. In 1979, Simmons joined the University of Southern California as assistant, and then associate dean of graduate studies. She remained here until 1983 when she was hired by Princeton University to serve as director of studies for their new residential college, Butler College. From 1985 to 1987 she also worked as their acting director of Afro-American studies; and, in 1986, she was promoted to associate dean of faculty at Princeton University. Simmons subsequently served as provost of Spelman College from 1990 to 1991 before returning to Princeton as vice provost. In 1995, Simmons became the first African American woman to head a major college or university upon being named president of Smith College. Here, she established the first engineering program at a woman’s college. She held this position until 2001 when she was selected president of Brown University, making her the first African American woman to head an Ivy League institution. Here, she raised a record amount of funding for the school and established a need-blind admission standard for undergraduates. In 2012, she stepped down as president of Brown, but remained as a professor of comparative literature and Africana studies. Simmons subsequently became interim president of Prairie View A&M University in 2017 before being named president of the school, making her their first woman president.

Simmons has served on numerous boards throughout her career, including for JSTOR, Pfizer, Inc., Texas Instruments, Goldman Sachs, Howard University, Mondelez International, Chrysler, LLC, and Princeton University. She has also been a presidential appointee for President Bill Clinton’s Women’s Progress Commemoration Commission in 1999 and President Barack Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships in 2009.

Simmons has over thirty honorary degrees and has received many awards such as CBS’s Woman of the Year in 1996, the National Urban League’s Achievement Award in 1998, the United Negro College Fund’s President’s Award in 2001, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal in 2002, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2010.

Simmons resides in Texas and has two adult children, Khari and Maya.

Ruth J. Simmons was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.134

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/3/2019

Last Name

Simmons

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

J.

Schools

W.R. Banks Elementary School

Phillis Wheatley High School

Dillard University

Wellesley College

George Washington University

Harvard University

Atherton Elementary

First Name

Ruth

Birth City, State, Country

Grapeland

HM ID

SIM14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

France

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/3/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Prairie View

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken Enchiladas With Rice And Refried Beans, Gumbo

Short Description

Academic administrator and college president Ruth J. Simmons (1945- ) was the first African American woman to head a major college or university as president of Smith College, the first African American woman to head an Ivy League institution as president of Brown University, and the first woman president of Prairie View A&M University.

Employment

Brown University

Prairie View A&M University

Smith College

Princeton University

Spelman College

University of Southern California

California State University, Northridge

University of New Orleans

Radcliffe College

George Washington University

Language Services Division, U.S. Department of State

Favorite Color

Red

Dr. Donald E. Wilson

Physician and academic administrator Dr. Donald E. Wilson born on August 28, 1936 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Rivers and Licine Wilson. He attended Dix Street Preparatory School and North High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. Wilson then attended Harvard University and received his B.A. degree in biology in 1958. He later received his M.D. degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1962.

Wilson completed his residency at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Boston; and, in 1964, worked as the senior medical resident in gastroenterology. Wilson then became the chief resident and research fellow at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in 1965. In 1966, after being drafted into the United States Air Force and stationed in Omaha, Nebraska, he served as a medical consultant for the V.A. Hospital as well as the chief of internal medicine while chairing the department of medicine at Ehrling Bergquist U.S.A.F. Hospital. Wilson was discharged in 1968, and subsequently moved to New York and joined the Brooklyn Cumberland Medical Center as associate chief of gastroenterology. During this time, he also served as an instructor and attending physician at the State University of New York Hospital, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. In 1971, Wilson was hired by the University of Illinois as assistant professor and director of the division of gastroenterology. By 1975, he was promoted to full professor. In 1980, Wilson returned to SUNY Downstate Medical Center as professor and chairman of the department of medicine. In 1991, he became dean of the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine, making him the first African American to be dean of a non-minority medical school in the United States. He served there until 2006 when he retired. In 2008, Wilson briefly came out of retirement to serve as senior vice president for health sciences at Howard University until 2010.

Wilson has been elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, and the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine). He is also a master of the American College of Physicians and has served on many advisory boards including as chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges and a director of the National Institutes of Health.

Wilson has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Frederick Douglass Award from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, being named Baltimore Magazine’s 2007 Baltimorean of the Year, and the Abraham Flexner Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Wilson lives in Maryland with his wife, Patricia. He has four children.

Dr. Donald E. Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMarkers on January 25, 2020.

Accession Number

A2020.004

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/25/2020

Last Name

Wilson

Middle Name

E

Organizations
First Name

Donald

HM ID

WIL96

Favorite Season

Christmas

Favorite Quote

The Definition Of A Leader Is When You Turn Around And Look Back, There People Are Following You

Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Short Description

Physician and academic administrator Dr. Donald E. Wilson (1936- ) became the first African American dean of a non-minority medical school upon being named dean of the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine in 1991.

Favorite Color

Blue

Miles M. Jackson

Professor and librarian Miles M. Jackson, Jr. was born on April 28, 1929 in Richmond, Virginia to Thelma Manning and Miles Jackson, Sr. He graduated from Armstrong High School, in Richmond, Virginia and received his B.A. degree in English in 1955 from Virginia Union University. He then earned his M.S. degree in 1956 from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later enrolled at Indiana University and completed his postgraduate coursework from 1961 to 1964. Jackson received his Ph.D. degree in communications in 1974, graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications, in Syracuse, New York.

With a specialty in library and information science, Jackson served as an educator, librarian and researcher at selected libraries, including the Free Library of Philadelphia from 1955 to 1958, and territorial libraries in American Samoa from 1962 to 1964, to higher learning institutions including the C.P. Huntington Memorial Library at Hampton Institute from 1958 to 1962, and Trevor Arnett Library at Atlanta University from 1964 to 1969. In 1969, Jackson was named associate professor at the School of Information Studies at the State University of New York, in Geneseo, New York. He joined the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1975 as a professor and was named dean of the Graduate School of Library Science in 1983. He retired as professor and dean emeritus from the School of Library and Information Sciences in 1995.

Jackson has traveled widely in the South Pacific and Asia and was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Tehran, in Iran from 1968 to 1969. He was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship award for study in East and West Africa in 1969. He served as an Asia Foundation consultant to the Ministry of Education in Papua New Guinea in 1981, and was a U.S. State Department specialist in Pakistan and India from 1981 to 1983.

Jackson served as executive producer of Holding Fast the Dream, a one-hour documentary film on African Americans in Hawaii. The film premiered at the 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival and was selected for the San Diego Black Film Festival in 2011. Included in his published works are books: And They Came: A Brief History of Blacks in Hawaii, Four G Press, 2001, and They Followed the Trade Winds: African Americans in Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press, 2005. Jackson has also been a contributor to the Honolulu Advertiser and Mahogany Magazine

Jackson received the NAACP 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award and was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who in 2019.

Miles M. Jackson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2019

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Merrill

Schools

Armstrong High School

Virginia Union University

Drexel University, College of Information Technology

Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications

First Name

Miles

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

JAC49

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

4/28/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue Ribs and Seafood

Short Description

Professor and librarian Miles M. Jackson, Jr. (1929- ) served as professor and dean at the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa School of Library and Information Sciences, in Honolulu, Hawai’i from 1975 to 1995.

Employment

Free Library of Philadelphia

C.P. Huntington Memorial Library, Hampton University

U.S. Government

Trevor Arnett Library, Atlanta University

University of Tehran

School of Information Studies, State University of New York

Graduate School of Library Science, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Favorite Color

Brown

Helen L. Stewart

Management consultant and academic administrator Helen L. Stewart was born on May 21, 1943 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Lucy Juanita Hampton and James Edward Woodson Stewart. She graduated from Poitiers American High School in Poitiers, France in 1960. Stewart obtained her B.A. degree in sociology in 1965 before earning her M.A. degree in sociology in 1967, both from Boston University. She later received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University in 1980.

In 1965, Stewart began working as an independent management consultant, arbitrator, mediator, and interpreter. She began studies for her Ph.D. at Brandeis in 1967, the same year that she worked as an instructor at both Emerson College and Boston University. Stewart also taught at Brandeis in 1969 before becoming a French interpreter for the U.S. Department of State, Language Services Division. From 1971 to 1972, Stewart served as a rural sociologist with the United Nations Development Program in West Africa. From 1972 to 1974, she worked as an associate at Community-University Research Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She subsequently taught at Harvard University Extension, Wellesley College, and Brandeis University, earning her Ph.D. in 1980. Stewart joined San Francisco State University in 1981 as associate dean for faculty affairs where she worked until 1988 when she was promoted to dean of faculty affairs and professor of sociology at Sonoma State University in California. In 1990, she became vice president for academic affairs and provost of Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. In 1999, she was then appointed president of the University of Metaphysical Studies, a position she remained in until 2004. In 2013, Stewart published her book, Seven Seconds or Less: From Gut Feeling to Bottom Line in Challenging Areas of Business.

Stewart has affiliations with numerous organizations, including the American Council on Education, Scientific and Medical Network, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the American Association of University Women, Brandeis Alumni Association of Northern California, Harvard Alumni Associations of Northern California and Honolulu, the Organization of Women Leaders in Honolulu, and the World Future Society, and is a member of the Phi Beta Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa Societies. She has also served on the boards of the New Jersey Institute for Collegiate Teaching and Learning, Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, Desert Academy, the National Urban League, The Women’s Foundation, The Chapin School, and Cambridge Montessori School.

Stewart resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Helen L. Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.139

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/11/2019

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Langhorne

Schools

Poitiers American High School

Drew University

Boston University

Brandeis University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Helen

Birth City, State, Country

Lynchburg

HM ID

STE25

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth interested in international affairs, adults, military dependents, people interested in spirituality, women movement, The 1960's, business and intuitional , 1970's

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Only if travel is required

Favorite Season

Late Spring and Early Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Austria and France

Favorite Quote

What Goes Around Comes Around and I Live In A Safe Universe

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

5/21/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Favorite Food

Pork Chops and Spinach

Short Description

Management consultant and academic administrator Helen L. Stewart (1943- ) was dean of faculty affairs and professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and vice president for academic affairs and provost at Rider University before co-founding and becoming president of the University of Metaphysical Studies.

Employment

Harvard University

United Nations Development Program

Wellesley College

Brandeis University

San Francisco State University

Sonoma State University

Rider University

University of Metaphysics

Community-University Research Associates

U.S. Department of State; Language Services Division

Operation Crossroads Africa

Harvard University Extension

Emerson College

Boston University

Favorite Color

Neon Blue, Emerald Green, and Fuchsia

Leon Richards

Academic administrator Leon Richards was born on June 7, 1945 in Autauga County, Alabama to Carrie Richards and John Richards. One of twenty-two children, Richards and his family moved to Montgomery, Alabama soon after his birth. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School in 1964, Richards received his B.S. degree in history from Alabama State College in 1968. He went on to receive his M.A. degree in political science in 1970, his Ph.D. degree in political science in 1974, and his second M.A. degree in teaching English as a second language in 2000, all from the University of Hawai’i.

In 1968, Richards joined Wai’anae High School as a social science teacher in Wai’anae, Hawai’i, where he worked for two years, before joining the Wai’anae Research & Planning Center’s Model Cities Project for one year. After receiving his M.A. degree, Richards worked as a research assistant for the University of Hawaii department of political science’s Dimensionality of Nations Project for two years. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Richards joined the East-West Center Communication Institute and the advisory council on international relations at the University of Hawai’i, as a researcher. In 1977, he joined Kapi‘olani Community College, where he served as assistant dean of instruction and title III grant coordinator from 1977 to 1987, acting provost from 1981 to 1984, and dean of instruction from 1982 to 1999. In 2000, Richards was promoted to senior academic dean and executive director for international education for the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges system and served there until 2002, when he was once again appointed acting provost of Kapi‘olani Community College. He returned to his positions as senior academic dean and executive director for international education in 2003. In 2005, Richards was promoted to vice chancellor for academic affairs and international education, continuing to serve as executive director for international education until 2016. He was promoted to interim chancellor in 2005, before becoming chancellor of Kapi‘olani Community College in 2007. Richards resigned in 2016 and went on to found the Mid-Pacific International Higher Education Consultancy, LLL in 2017, serving as a senior consultant.

Richards has written numerous scholarly works, including Island Roots, Global Reach: A Case Study of Internationalizing Kapiolani Community College in International Reform Efforts and Challenges, published in Community Colleges: New Directions for Community Colleges in 2007, and Elevating Developmental Education at Kapiʻolani Community College: Thoughts on Our Past, Present, and Future, published in the Journal of the Japan Association for Developmental Education in 2009. He also wrote Education and Youth Unemployment: Answering a Challenge in Emerging Countries - An Asia Pacific Perspective, published in 2015, and Community Colleges in America: Creating Economic, Human Capital, and Social Development for Today and Tomorrow, published in 2016.

Richards and his wife, Pauline Sakai Richards, reside in Honolulu, Hawai’i. They have two children: Kayin and Kalera.

Leon Richards was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.136

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2019

Last Name

Richards

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Lomax School

George Washington Carver High School

George Washington Carver Junior High School

Alabama State University

University of Hawaii at Manoa

First Name

Leon

Birth City, State, Country

Autauga County

HM ID

RIC25

Favorite Season

Hawaii All Year, Springtime in Alabama and Japan

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

The World

Favorite Quote

There Are Two Things No One Can Take From You: Education And Family

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

6/7/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Collard Greens with Neck Bones, Sukiyaki

Short Description

Academic administrator Leon Richards (1945- ) worked at Kapi‘olani Community College for thirty nine years, serving as chancellor from 2007 to 2016.

Employment

Mid-Pacific International Higher Education Consultancy, LLL (MPIHEC)

Kapi'olani Community College

University of Hawaii Community Colleges System

Wai'anae High School

Wai'anae Research & Planning Center

University of Hawaii Department of Political Science

Model Cities' Research and Planning Program

East -West Center Communication Institute

Favorite Color

Blue and Black

Leo Morton

Corporate executive, academic administrator and engineer Leo Morton was born on August 12, 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama to Imogene and Leo C. Morton. After graduating from Ullman High School in 1963, he received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University in 1968. Morton went on to receive his M.S. degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987.

In 1968, Morton joined General Motors as an engineer designing the turbine section of jet engines. In 1970, he left General Motors and joined Rust Engineering as a designer, a position he held for two years before joining Corning Glass as a manufacturing supervisor. Morton left Corning Glass in 1973 and was hired at Bell Laboratories as an engineer, eventually becoming a director. In 1987, he joined AT&T Microelectronics as an engineering planning director in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Morton was promoted to director of division staff in February, 1988, vice president of manufacturing in August, 1988, and vice president of performance management in 1992, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. In 1993, he moved to Dallas, Texas, to serve as vice president of enhanced distributed power architecture. A year later, he left AT&T Microelectronics to serve as vice president of performance management at UtiliCorp United, Inc in Kansas City, Missouri. He was promoted to senior vice president in 1995, senior vice president of human resources and operations support in 1997, and chief administrative officer in 2000, before the company was renamed Aquila, Inc. in 2002. In 2008, Morton left Aquila, Inc. to serve as chancellor of the University of Missouri – Kansas City. During his tenure, Morton improved community engagement, enrollment, graduation rates and created a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. He also significantly improved campus facilities and philanthropic support. In 2017, he stepped down as chancellor and joined DeBruce Companies as president and chief operating officer.

Morton served as chairman of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, the Kansas Area Development Council, Prep-KC and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees. He serves on the board of Union Station, the Marion & Henry Bloch Family Foundation, American Public Square, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy.

In 2012, Morton received the Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award from the Jewish Community Relations Bureau. In 2014, he was inducted into the Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame and was named the Kansas Citian of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Morton received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Economic Development Corporation in 2018. In 2019, was named a Kansas City Legend by Ingram’s 45th Anniversary Edition and named a Hometown Hero by Community Linc.

Morton and his wife, Yvette Morton, have three children: Leo, Keesha, and Karla.

Leo Morton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.119

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2019

Last Name

Morton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

Center Street Elementary School

Ullman High School

Tuskegee University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Leo

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MOR21

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

A Cruise With My Family

Favorite Quote

Bless Me To Be A Blessing To Others

Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

8/12/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Kansas City

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Apple Pie

Short Description

Academic administrator and engineer Leo Morton (1945- ) served as chancellor of the University of Missouri–Kansas City from 2008 to 2017.

Employment

DeBruce Companies

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Aquila, Inc.

AT&T Microelectronics

Bell Laboratories

Corning Glass

Rust Engineering

General Motors

Favorite Color

Blue

Nancy Washington

Educator and academic administrator Nancy Washington, was born on March 5, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Courtney Duckrey and Tanner Duckrey. She received her B.S. degree in education from Boston University in 1960, and her M.Ed. degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1963. She went on to receive her M.S. degree from Temple University in 1967, and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973.

Washington began her twenty seven year career with the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 when she was hired as an assistant professor of psychology at the Greensburg campus, while also finishing her Ph.D. After graduating, she became a senate officer for the university, representing the Greensburg campus. She served on various committees around women’s issues, and issues of affirmative action, campus safety, campus diversity, and budget policy. In 1979, she became an associate professor of psychology. Throughout the 1980s, Washington worked with the student affairs committee on issues of South Africa and developed minority enrollment and retention programs. In 1989, Washington was appointed to assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and family medicine and assistant dean of minority affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In February 1993, Chancellor J. Dennis O’Connor appointed Washington as assistant to the chancellor, where she focused on minority affairs at affiliated schools and helped the Black Action Society start a black cultural center on campus. In 1994, she helped establish the Center for Minority Health, with funding from the R.K. Mellon Foundation. Washington retired from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999.

During her career, Washington also served on various boards, including Pennsylvania’s Council on the Arts, The Carnegie Museum of Art, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the Pittsburgh Foundation, where the Nancy and Milt Washington Fund was established in 1994.

Additionally, Washington has received many awards for her work, which include the YWCA’s Voluntary Community Service Leadership Award in 2001, the Humanitarian Award from Three Rivers Youth in 2008, the Outstanding Community Leaders Award by the Community College of Allegheny County in 2010, and the History Makers Award in the field of community service, given by the Senator John Heinz History Center for contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania.

Washington has two daughters, Linda Armstrong and Lara Washington, as well as three grandchildren: Zoe, Kendall, and Tanner.

Nancy Washington was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 22, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/22/2019

Last Name

Washington

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Ellen

Schools

Boston University

Temple University

University of Pittsburgh

Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School

Jay Cook Junior High School

Philadelphia High School for Girls

First Name

Nancy

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

WAS09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

It's a good life if you don't weaken.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

3/15/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

USA

Favorite Food

White anchovies

Short Description

Educator and academic administrator Nancy Washington (1939- ) worked at the University of Pittsburgh for twenty seven years, eventually becoming assistant to the chancellor.

Employment

University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Philadelphia Board of Education

Favorite Color

Violet

Dr. Jeanne Craig Sinkford

Academic administrator and educator Jeanne Craig Sinkford was born on January 30, 1933 in Washington, D.C. to Richard and Geneva Craig. She graduated from Dunbar High School in 1949, and earned her B.S. degree in psychology and chemistry from Howard University in 1953. In 1958, Sinkford graduated at the top of her class with a D.D.S. degree in dental surgery from the Howard University College of Dentistry. She then taught prosthodontics at Howard’s College of Dentistry before graduating from Northwestern University School of Dentistry with her M.S. degree in 1962, and her Ph.D. in physiology in 1963, making her the first female prosthodontist with a Ph.D.

Sinkford remained at the Northwestern University School of Dentistry to teach for a year before returning to the Howard University College of Dentistry in 1964 to chair the prosthodontics department, which was the largest department at the college. She was the first woman head of such a department in the nation. Sinkford was made associate dean of the College of Dentistry in 1967. In 1972, she was appointed to a nine-member ad hoc advisory panel examining the ethics of the 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Sinkford became the first female dean of any dental school in the nation in 1975 upon being appointed dean of Howard University’s College of Dentistry. In 1979, she coauthored Profile of the Negro in American Dentistry with Foster Kidd, D.D.S. Sinkford retired as dean in 1991 after sixteen years. That same year, she became professor and dean emeritus, and was appointed director of the Office of Women and Minority Affairs at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Sinkford became a senior scholar-in-residence with ADEA, her work focusing on recruitment and promoting growth of minority and women students and faculty. She also founded international women's leadership programming for women's health and oral health of the world population.

Sinkford holds memberships in the American Prosthodontic Society, the International Association of Dental Research, the National Dental Association, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also serves as an American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists fellow.

Sinkford’s numerous awards include Alumni Achievement Awards from Northwestern University and Howard University in 1970 and 1976, one of the first Candace Awards from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1982, the 1984 Award of Merit from the American Fund for Dental Health, the 2007 Trailblazer Award from the National Dental Association, and the 2010 Fauchard Gold Medal. She also earned honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in 1978, the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey in 1992, Meharry Medical College in 2008, the University of Michigan in 2018, and Howard University in 2019.

Sinkford resides in Maryland and has three children with her late husband, Dr. Stanley M. Sinkford, Jr.: Dianne Sylvia, Janet Lynn, and Stanley M. Sinkford, III.

Jeanne Craig Sinkford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.105

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/26/2019

Last Name

Craig Sinkford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Howard University

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Howard University College of Dentistry

Northwestern University

First Name

Jeanne

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

SIN03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bethany Beach, DE

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/30/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator and educator Jeanne Craig Sinkford (1933 - ) was the country’s first woman prosthodontist with a Ph.D. and first woman to head a major department at a dental school before becoming the country’s first woman dean of a dental school in 1975.

Employment

Howard University College of Dentistry

Northwestern University School of Dentistry

American Association of Dental Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

Gretchen Tucker Underwood

Academic administrator Gretchen Tucker Underwood was born on October 11, 1943 in Boston, Massachusetts to Judge Herbert Tucker and Mary Tucker. After graduating from Jamaica Plain High School in 1961, Tucker Underwood attended Howard University before transferring to Southern Connecticut State University, where she received her B.S. degree in education in 1968. In 1972, Tucker Underwood went on to receive her M.A. degree in educational administration and a certificate of advance graduate study from Boston State College.

After teaching social studies for three years at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut, Tucker Underwood was hired as a teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1970. She later became the school’s Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) coordinator. By 1996, Tucker Underwood was promoted to dean of students of Brookline High School. In the 1990s, she was also the first African American elected as a town meeting member while living in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Tucker Underwood served Brookline High School as the dean of students until her retirement in 2007, after thirty-seven years with the school. In 2008, Tucker Underwood moved to Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; and, in 2014, she ran for Dukes County Commissioner as a democratic write-in candidate, and was elected to one of the seven seats. Tucker Underwood was re-elected to the seat in both 2016 and 2018. In 2019, she was appointed chair of the commission.

Tucker Underwood chairs the annual celebration commemorating an artist, educator, and writer from Martha’s Vineyard, Della Hardman. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an advisory council member for Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative, and has served on the boards of the Big Sister Association and Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP. From 1996 to 2000, Tucker Underwood served as president of the Boston Coalition of 100 Black Women. In 2019, she was honored by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women at the sixteenth annual Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts program, held in the Massachusetts State House.

Tucker Underwood resides with her mother in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She has one adult daughter, Gretchen Mercer, and two grandsons, Brandon and Jason Mercer.

Gretchen Tucker Underwood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2019

Last Name

Underwood

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Tucker

Schools

Boston Latin Academy

The Cambridge School of Weston

Southern Connecticut State University

Boston State College

Jamaica Plain High School

William Lloyd Garrison Elementary School

First Name

Gretchen

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

UND03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any place warm and sandy.

Favorite Quote

Every shut eye ain't sleep.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/11/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Anything anybody else cooks.

Short Description

Academic administrator Gretchen Tucker Underwood (1943- ) worked at Brookline High School in Massachusetts for thirty-seven years as a teacher and dean of students before serving Dukes County, Massachusetts as county commissioner for three terms.

Employment

Wilbur Cross High School

Brookline High School

Dukes' County

Favorite Color

It changes by the season.

Charlena Seymour

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour was born on December 3, 1943 in Washington, D.C. to Elizabeth Moten and Elmore Moten. At a young age, Seymour and her family, including sister Vera and brother Rahim, moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended Girls’ Latin School and Jeremiah E. Burke High School for Girls. In 1965, Seymour received her B.F.A. degree in drama and theater arts from Howard University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in speech and hearing science in 1967, and her Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971, both from The Ohio State University.

In 1971, Seymour joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Department of Communication Disorders as an assistant professor. She served as the director of Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Massachusetts in 1974, and was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1978. In 1983, Seymour served as the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Communication Disorders for one year. The next year, she was appointed chair of the department. She was promoted to full professor in 1989, and was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 1994. In 2001, Seymour assumed the position of interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and in 2004 she was appointed provost. In 2009, Seymour retired from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to serve as provost of Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She retired from Simmons in 2013.

From 1990 to 1992, Seymour served as the vice president for quality of service of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). In 1996, she was elected president of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a position she held until 1998. A Fellow of ASHA, she received the organization's highest award, the Honors award in 2007 for a distinguished career. From 2002 to 2003, Seymour served as president of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. During her career, she has served on many non-profit boards, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, the Western Massachusetts Women's Foundation, the Amherst Ballet Theatre Company, the Amherst Chapter of A Better Chance, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, the Yard Inc., of Martha’s Vineyard, and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

Seymour has received many awards for her work in academia. In 1964 and 1965, she was included in Howard University’s “Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.” Seymour also received the Harvard Foundation Medal of Recognition for Intercultural and Race Relations in 1997 and the Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication in 1998 for her textbook. Seymour was invited as the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor, Texas Christian University, and has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the Howard University School of Communications and The Ohio State University Department of Speech and Hearing Science.

Seymour and her husband, Harry Seymour, have two children: Harry Alexander and Shayna.

Charlena Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/24/2019

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jeannette

Schools

William P. Boardman Elementary School

William Lloyd Garrison Elementary School

Boston Latin Academy

Jeremiah E. Burke High School

Howard University

The Ohio State University

First Name

Charlena

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

SEY02

Favorite Season

Fall and Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Boston

Favorite Quote

This Above All To Thine Own Self Be True, Then Thou Cannot Be False To Any Person

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/3/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Oak Bluffs

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta, Fried Food, Cookies, Chocolate, Soul Food

Short Description

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour (1943- ) served as a professor, dean, and provost at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Employment

Simmons College

University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts

Coshocton County Speech and Hearing Clinic

Texas Christian University

Linkoping University

Ohio State University

Shaw University

Favorite Color

Blue