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Lucy R. Wilson

Educational Administrator Lucy Wilson was born on September 23, 1930 in Hartsville, South Carolina. She received her B.S. degree cum laude from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg in 1951 and her M.S. degree in guidance and counseling from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1954. After completing her M.S. degree, Wilson served as the dean of women at Albany State College in Georgia from 1954 to 1956. While serving as a dean of students, her continuing studies were funded by the Danforth Foundation. Consequently, she received her Ed.D. degree in guidance and counseling in 1960.

She then returned to Orangeburg, South Carolina where she worked as the dean of students at Claflin College from 1956 through 1962. After completing her doctorate, Wilson was hired as the assistant program director for guidance services in the Department of Education and Testing Services at Princeton University from 1962 through 1967. In addition, Wilson was a professor of psychology at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 1964 through 1967. She then became the Director of Adult Services at the Tennessee Mental Health Department in Nashville, Tennessee until 1975. Since then, Wilson has served as the Associate Dean for the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University. Over the years, Wilson has worked as a consultant for Princeton University, the Department of Health, Education, & Welfare and the Portsmouth Public School System in Virginia.

Wilson also serves on a number of community boards and has long been involved in service organizations. From 1975 to 1977, Wilson served as an Area Director for the National March of Dimes. She also served as the Chairperson for the Human Sexuality Task Force and sits on the board of directors for the Planning Council of Tidewater (Virginia).

Wilson is married to former Norfolk State University president Harrison Wilson and they have six children: April, Jennifer, Richard, John, Harrison, and Benjamin.

Lucy Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.013

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/11/2010

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Schools

Butler High School

Butler Elementary School

South Carolina State University

Indiana University

First Name

Lucy

Birth City, State, Country

Hartsville

HM ID

WIL52

Favorite Season

None

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs And Blaming It On You, If You Can Trust Yourself When All Men Doubt You, But Make Allowance For Their Doubting Too. - Rudyard Kipling

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

9/23/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chesapeake

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator Lucy R. Wilson (1930 - ) served as a dean at Albany State College, Claflin College and Old Dominion University. She was also a professor of psychology at various universities including Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville.

Employment

South Carolina State University

Veteran's Administration

Albany State University

Claflin University

Lincoln High School

Southern University and A&M College System

Tennessee Mental Health Department

Tennessee State University

University of Tennessee

Norfolk State University

Old Dominion University

Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lucy R. Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her maternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls the difficulties of her mother's work

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers giving speeches to her mother's employer

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her mother as an abuse survivor

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lucy R. Wilson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about Eartha Kitt

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls giving speeches as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her older half-brother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls fighting in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls her decision to attend Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls enrolling at Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers her high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her first impressions of Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her early interest in theater

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls graduating from Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her experiences at Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls visiting her father in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers working in New York City during college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her post-graduate work activities

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her first husband

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls her decision to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers returning to Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls applying to work at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her etiquette lessons in college

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her experiences working at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers meeting her second husband, Harrison B. Wilson

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls facing work discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers being hired at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson describes the beginning of her relationship with Harrison B. Wilson

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about meeting her stepsons for the first time

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls her move to Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her work in Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls her decision to move to Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her experiences at Norfolk State College in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about the resentment towards her husband's presidency at Norfolk State College

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls becoming the first African American faculty member at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her later years at Old Dominion University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson recalls her greatest accomplishments at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson remembers her duties on various boards

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her protest against busing in Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her protest against busing in Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson describes the reaction in the African American community to her stance on busing

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about the disparities in funding for Virginia public schools

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lucy R. Wilson describes The Links, Incorporated president, Barbara Dixon Simpkins

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about the Links to Success Programs

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lucy R. Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lucy R. Wilson reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lucy R. Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her family, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lucy R. Wilson talks about her family, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lucy R. Wilson describes the joys of her marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lucy R. Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Lucy R. Wilson describes her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1
Lucy R. Wilson remembers being hired at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Transcript
Was the Civil Rights Movement boiling up in South Carolina at--?$$Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. And because I was at a private school [Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina], then I could participate in the Civil Rights Movement.$$Now explain the dynamic of that, so that people understand it.$$Okay. People who worked at the state could and would be fired if they participated in the Civil Rights Movement. But since I was working at a private school, I could participate without fear. One of the things that I did, we decided, we, meaning those of us who either were not working or did not fear being fired--being hurt or fired, I should say, by the, by our employers--decided that we were going to integrate the federal health service center, which was located in downtown Orangeburg [South Carolina]. Now, here is a federally funded program that had one side for whites and another room for African Americans, or colored. So, my group and I decided that we were going to integrate that place. And I was chosen as the one to go in and ask for service. So I went in, and I asked for something that I knew they did not offer, like a flu shot or something. And they said, "Well, we don't offer that here." So, I said, "All right, well, I'll just wait, because my ride is to pick me up in about an hour." So (laughter) then I went and sat in the white sitting room. And the lady said, "Oh, you're to sit over here in the colored waiting room." And I said, "Oh, I'm very comfortable here," and I sat. And so I could hear them whispering among themselves, the nurses, whispering among themselves. And then a doctor came in, and very nicely said, "Would you mind sitting over here? This is the place that we have especially for you." And I said, "No, I'm comfortable here. But thank you very much." And then the police came in. I'm sure I'm going to get arrested, because that's what I'm there for, so that we would have a case. Well, the police came in, policeman came, just one. He came in and talked with the nurses and the doctor, and looked at me. And I'm waiting for him to come and arrest me. He just went out. So, I'm sitting there wondering, well, what is going to happen? Because I thought maybe he thought that he needed another person, you know. He never came back. I sat for an hour or more. And when nothing happened and they went on back to work, you know, doing whatever they were doing, I just got up and, you know, hailed my ride to come on, and we went back. The next month, we read in the paper that the federal health department was now integrated. So, they didn't do anything to me, but they did integrate.$I can't remember the name of the place, never been there before or since. But anyway, he didn't hire me. And when I got home I said, "Well, I'm just going to ask him." And I called him and I said, "Dr.," whatever his name was, "I'm not going to even think about suing you, because I don't have the money to do it. But I need, just for my own satisfaction, I need to know whether or not you refused to hire me because I am black, or because there was something wrong with the way I looked, or what?" And he said, "Well, I'll be very honest with you, Dr. Cutliff [HistoryMaker Lucy R. Wilson]," was my name, "it's because you are half an American." He said, "If I were to hire you, I would lose half of my clientele within a week." And I said, "Well, I understand that, I understand that." And I began looking for a job in the dime store; I was going to be a clerk. And suddenly the phone rang out of nowhere, and it was Ed Johnson [Edward E. Johnson] who was head of the psychology department at Southern University [Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]. And he said, "We got your number from your husband." He didn't know I was out there to get a divorce. I said, "Yes?" And he said, "We have an opening at Southern University for a professor," not--either a professor or an associate professor of psychology. I've forgotten which. And he said, "Would you be interested?" Well, I didn't want him to know how hard up I was for a job. So I told him that there was another firm that wanted to interview--that I was interviewing with. And I said, "They want me to consider working for them within the next month. So if Southern wants me, then I will have to come right away. Otherwise, I'll be obligated to this other guy." Well, that was not true. I simply wanted them to move the date back when they would hire me, because I was out of money; I was running out of money. So he said, "Well, I'll check with the dean and I'll call you back." And he did, within the hour. And the dean, he said that the dean told him that it was fine for me to come right away, and I did. And that's how I got to Southern. And of course, I had nowhere to live, so I lived with Ed and his family. Jennifer [Wilson's daughter, Jennifer Wilson] and I took a room with Ed and his family for about three weeks until I could earn a check. Well, no, they paid me upfront, they paid me upfront. And so, I stayed there until '67 [1967].