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Dolores D. Wharton

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.

Accession Number

A2016.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

07/14/2016 |and| 10/4/2016

Last Name

Wharton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

D.

Schools

Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School

New York University

Western Connecticut State University

Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater

University of Chicago

Main Street School

Danbury High School

Bethel High School

First Name

Dolores

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

WHA03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Wonderful.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/3/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asian Food

Short Description

Civic leader Dolores D. Wharton (1927 - ) was the first woman, and the first African American, elected to the boards of Michigan Bell Telephone Company, Kellogg Company, Phillips Petroleum Company, and Gannett Company.

Employment

The Fund for Corporate Initiatives

Favorite Color

Multicolor

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Dolores D. Wharton remembers meeting her husband, Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Dolores D. Wharton describes the Fund for Corporate Initiatives' programs
Transcript
Now you're in high school. When did you meet Cliff [HistoryMaker Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.]? You were in high school, correct?$$Yes. There was no social--there was no real social interaction with young men in, in Danbury [Connecticut]. There was one--no, I won't go there--and he would (unclear).$$Well, I read that you were--you had a date with someone else, and then when you met--you went on a date with a cadet or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, that was--yeah, well, that was much--that was later.$$It was later, okay.$$That was later.$$All right.$$Mother [Josephine Bradford Owens] wanted me to interact more with--well, I think she did. I think she wanted me to go up to meet--she was interacting with her cousin, the Fitzgeralds, who were in Boston [Massachusetts]; they had been--they were related to the Bradfords, the mother. Bertha Fitzgerald was related to--she was related to the Bradfords, and mother went once to visit them, and she had me going up to Boston. I went to Boston once to visit my cousin, and she had a party, a birthday party, and Cliff was supposedly at that party and I was supposed to have met him then. I don't remember it--having met him; I had a lot of young men paying attention to me (laughter). The year later, Betty [Betty Fitzgerald] invited me up for a--she was at Radcliffe [Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts], and she invited me up to a dance at Radcliffe, and she got Cliff as my date, and we met at Harvard Yard [Cambridge, Massachusetts].$$How old were you?$$I think I was what--eighteen? We went to--we met in Harvard Yard, he took us to Adams House--for dinner at Adams House, and then we went back to Betty's dorm and got dressed for the dance; it was black tie, but--well, it might have been semiformal. The girls were in long dresses. And we went to the dance, we had a lovely time--just grand, just really delightful. I've described this as, I felt like I was--what was it--Sarah [sic. Scarlett O'Hara] in 'Gone with the Wind,' dancing with Clark Gable. Ooh! He was gorgeous (laughter), he really was so handsome. He's tall and thin, and he was Mr. Harvard, and oh, it was lovely. Then the dance was almost over and Cliff asked Betty and me if we would like to come to his church the next morning, where he was serving as an acolyte, and we accepted. We--you know, an extension of the weekend. So, the next morning we got on the "T," and went to the black part of Boston--Roxbury [Boston, Massachusetts]--and we went to the church. We were sitting in the pews quietly, and we thought we were being very quiet, and up comes a little white priest with all of his British accent and pulled back and said, "How dare you speak at the House of God!" Well, we just disintegrated, the two of us sitting in those pews. So, off he goes, and he goes back to where the acolytes are, and he tells this story back there, with the acolytes, of these two girls who happen to be there inside the vestry, talking. Can you imagine that? Well, Cliff knew full well who it was (laughter), of course. And the ceremony began, and he was going through with all of his incense and waving all this smoke all over the place. That passed, and then we went outside, and there were lots of people outside doing their--you know, the little old ladies with their bonnets; they were all black. It was a totally black church, and Cliff got his mother [Harriette Banks Wharton] and introduced me to his mother. His mother was very stern. She was a schoolteacher. She was very much a schoolteacher, and she was very busy greeting people--her friends, the other members of the congregation. And she greeted me and then she left, she went off someplace, and I was talking to Cliff. And then she came back suddenly and said, "Cliff, Cliff, you have to excuse yourself from these young ladies, I want--," and then she said, "he has to go, he has to meet some friends of mine." So, off he went, and we said, "Goodbye," and Betty and I got back on the "T" and I came back to Danbury.$You wanna get into all this?$$Sure.$$I went to the corporations--the major corporations there in Albany [New York]. I just had my secretary call up and say, "Mrs. Wharton [HistoryMaker Dolores D. Wharton] would like to come and have an appointment with you," and I went to see all the CEOs and human resource people, and talked--sat down--well, I--first I, with Cliff's [HistoryMaker Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.] help, I made a questionnaire for these--to find out what was going on in the corporations in Albany, why the blacks, why the women were not moving up the corporate ladder. What's happening? And I went to the CEOs and I--a number of them--and found out a lot about what might be able to be done, and got some ideas, and I talked about it a lot here and there, and got a contact with a chap who was the head of the school of--dean of the school of business and--but basically, Cliff and I really talked about what could be done. And we organized a program [Fund for Corporate Interns, Inc.; Fund for Corporate Initiatives, Inc.] and I went to the dean of the school of business and asked him to come aboard and to do some teaching with the young people, but first I went to the corporations and asked them to give me summer internships in their companies for women and minorities to work in their companies for a real job--a job with a beginning, a middle and an ending--just not a gofer's job. I negotiated this and a decent salary for them, and knowing--and telling them that on the weekends those young people would be coming to me and I would be teaching--I would be training them. I got a let- ooh, I got a number of corporations to come aboard saying, "Okay Dolores Wharton, we'll give you jobs for these kids." I went to the deans of the schools of business and the universities all around--Union [Union College, Schenectady, New York] and RPI [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York]--all around, and I got those deans to take my material to their bright students that don't--you can't deal with them if they're not bright. I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it. I'm small, I can't do it. So, for the young people to apply to me to come for the internships--these jobs that I had gotten for them--and I placed them, and gave them the jobs, and they went off on--in the summer, throughout the entire summer, to their jobs, but they came to me on weekends, and that's when I trained them where I had this dean of the school of business from State University of New York in Albany [State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York]--and we trained them in person in various aspects of what you do in developing your relationships to your colleagues on the board in your company. And we also gave them writing, I--one of our--Cliff's colleagues there, we taught them writing for the business sector. They don't always write for business, they write for their compositions. But writing for the business sector, I gave them speech, I got a speech teacher from the youth theater; he taught them how to stand up and make presentations.$$Right.$$And I had lovely residents. I gave them--how to deal with people outside of their corporations when they would be invited to dinners, and that kind of thing. How do you introduce some people, one outstanding person to another? How do you behave yourself? Good program. And that's what we did on weekends. And I was told by the dean that when those--when my young people went out to get jobs at the university--when the recruiters came in to hire at the universities, my kids just turned out, they just got the jobs--they cleaned up because they knew how to behave themselves.$$How many students moved through that program?$$I don't really remember, but there were a--I know it's the other program, the young executive program, that I remember. We put a couple a hundred through that one, and I (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And does it exist anymore?$$No. Once I got to a certain age, I'd gone off my boards. I--you know, I--at seventy, I had to go off.$$Okay.$$And I didn't have the contacts anymore. Cliff didn't have the contacts. We used our contacts, that was our faculty--our contacts. They were brilliant (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So it lived as long as you were on the board.$$Yes. And also, other institutions were beginning to develop programs like--they were copying me, they really were. They were doing what I was doing, quite a few others. So it got so--and I didn't have to do this, so I decided it was time to close the doors.

Roger Ferguson

Chief executive officer, economist and lawyer Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. was born on October 28, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to Roger Ferguson, Sr. and Alberta Elizabeth Lawson Ferguson. After graduating from Sidwell Friends School, he received his B.S. degree in economics from Harvard University in 1973. Ferguson served as a Frank Knox Fellow at Pembroke College, before receiving his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1979, and his Ph.D. degree in economics from Harvard University in 1981.

Ferguson worked as an attorney for the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardell, LLP in New York before joining McKinsey & Company Inc. in 1984, where he served as an associate, director of research and information systems; and later, as partner. In 1997, Ferguson was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, becoming the third African American in history to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. In 1999, Ferguson was appointed to serve as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the first African American to serve in that role. Ferguson served as chairman of the Group of Ten Working Party of Financial Sector Consolidation, chairman of the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), and the chairman of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) during his tenure as vice chairman. In 2006, Ferguson resigned as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; and, in 2008, he joined the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) as chief executive officer and President. He also served as economic advisor to President Barack Obama, initially as a member of the President-elect’s Transition Economic Advisory Board and subsequently as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Ferguson has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Bond Market Association, the William F. Butler Memorial Award from the New York Association for Business Economics, the Renaissance Award from the Abyssinian Development Corporation, and the Frederick Heldering Global Leadership Award from the Global Interdependence Center. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Lincoln College, Webster University, Michigan State University, Washington and Jefferson College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In 2009, Ferguson received The “Visionary Award” from the Council for Economic Education and the “Good Scout Award” from the Greater New York Boy Scout Council.

Ferguson is married to former United States Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Annette Nazareth. They have two children.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers<\em> on May 14, 2012 and October 16, 2019.

Accession Number

A2012.118

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2012

7/30/2012 |and| 10/16/2019

Last Name

Ferguson

Maker Category
Middle Name

W.

Schools

Sidwell Friends School

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Charles E. Young Elementary School

River Terrace Elementary School

Jefferson Middle School Academy

First Name

Roger

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

FER03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vermont

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/28/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French Fries

Short Description

Chief executive officer, economist and lawyer Roger W. Ferguson Jr. (1951- ) served as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors before joining the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) as president and chief executive officer.

Employment

McKinsey and Company

Davis, Polk & Wardell, LLP

United States Federal Reserve System

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association

Swiss Re America Holding Corporation

International Flavors and Fragrances

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roger Ferguson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roger Ferguson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roger Ferguson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roger Ferguson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roger Ferguson talks about his paternal step grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roger Ferguson describes his father's athletic talents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roger Ferguson describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roger Ferguson describes his father's interest in finance

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roger Ferguson describes his siblings and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roger Ferguson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Roger Ferguson describes his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Roger Ferguson remembers Charles Young Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roger Ferguson recalls River Terrace Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roger Ferguson recalls his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roger Ferguson describes segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roger Ferguson remembers Jefferson Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roger Ferguson recalls his early interest in the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roger Ferguson recalls enrolling at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roger Ferguson describes his social life at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roger Ferguson recalls his decision to attend Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roger Ferguson recalls the racial tension at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roger Ferguson describes his work study job at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roger Ferguson recalls his activism at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roger Ferguson recalls his economics research in Chile

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roger Ferguson remembers his graduation from Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roger Ferguson recalls his fellowship in Cambridge, England

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roger Ferguson recalls his decision to pursue law and economics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roger Ferguson recalls his dual graduate degree program at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roger Ferguson describes his parents' influence on his self esteem

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roger Ferguson talks about his decision to pursue dual graduate degrees

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roger Ferguson remembers working at the law firm of Davis Polk and Wardwell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roger Ferguson recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roger Ferguson recalls working at McKinsey and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roger Ferguson talks about balancing his career and family

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roger Ferguson recalls how he came to work for the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roger Ferguson remembers joining the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roger Ferguson recalls becoming vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roger Ferguson remembers serving as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roger Ferguson remembers the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roger Ferguson recalls his decision to leave the Federal Reserve System

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roger Ferguson recalls serving as the president and CEO of TIAA-CREFF

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roger Ferguson describes his hopes and concerns for his children

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roger Ferguson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Roger Ferguson reflects upon his legacy at TIAA-CREF

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Roger Ferguson describes his plans for the future

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Roger Ferguson describes his father's interest in finance
Roger Ferguson remembers the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
Transcript
But the thing that was really distinctive about my father [Roger Ferguson, Sr.] was that he was a child of the Depression [Great Depression] and he had lots of stories to tell about the Depression and it clearly impacted him. And the way it impacted him was he became very interested in savings and investments and the way the banking system worked. So the thing I, I remember many things about my father, the thing that really influenced me was that my father got me very interested at a very young age in things having to do with finance and banking and et cetera. And, in fact, as soon as I could do math at a reasonably proficient level, you know, just adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, he had me balance the check book.$$Okay.$$And much of our conversation while he was an avid football fan and, you know, loved to bowl and fish, much of our conversation was really about interest rates and investments and safe banks and, and that sort of thing.$$How do you think he acquired that kind of knowledge, he had the interest but how do you think he got the, the knowledge?$$I think he may have gotten it, some from his father [sic. step father, George Ferguson], I think he got it some from school as well, but mainly he was just sort of self taught. He read the newspapers, the other thing I remember about my father is not just that he read newspapers, but he had a broad interest in life and he was a curious person as well. And it, it showed up in, in unusual ways. I've talked a little bit about his interest in, in finance and money and investing, and for a, you know, a guy who was living, my mother [Alberta Lawson Ferguson] was a school teacher, my father worked for the government, they didn't have huge amounts of money so it was unusual for him to be interested in that kind of thing. He was interested in training people in that space, not only did he train me, but my sister [Rochelle Ferguson Washington (ph.)] has a very good friend who has gotten interested in investing in only land and property and she attributes all that to my father.$The thing that proves to be most important about my tenure at the Fed [Federal Reserve System] though is 9/11/2001 [September 11, 2001]. Nine, eleven, two thousand one is a day that obviously along with other fa- sadly a few other days, lives in infamy, 'cause that was the day of the terrorist attacks in United States of America. On that day Alan Greenspan was in Europe, in Switzerland at a big meeting of central banks that occurred every six to eight weeks, sometimes he would go, sometimes I would go, it was his turn to go, all the other governors in the Fed were around the country and the U.S. doing Fed business or giving speeches of, of, or doing other things. And so I was the only governor in Washington, D.C. I'm at my desk as usual at around 8:15, my wife [Annette Nazareth] at this point is an important senior official at the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission], she runs market regulation. And market regulation team has a desk that watches and monitors markets in real time--$$Um-hm.$$--on a daily basis. And so at about 8:20 at the time, I'm gonna get the time wrong, 8:40, 8:45, my wife calls and says, "Our market watch folks have alerted me that there's something wrong in New York [New York] because one of the World Trade Center towers is on fire, you might just wanna turn on the TV and monitor it"--$$Um-hm.$$--"we don't know what's happening," et cetera. So I turn on the TV, I see the second plane go into the second tower, obviously not a coincidence, not just bad luck, but hard to imagine what it is, you can't quite imagine that anyone would intentionally fly--$$Right--$$--airplanes into the world's tallest buildings in New York. But what it, what I do know is it's gonna be a scramble in Manhattan [New York, New York] because the World Trade Center, very close to the New York Stock Exchange [New York, New York], close to a number of other very important financial services firms and institutions including a company called Bank of New York [Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, New York, New York], which is one of the cl- clearing banks that keeps the, the system operating, the check clearing system operating, but more importantly, keeps the security systems operating and, and money flowing the system. World Trade Center was also very close to the New York Fed [Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York, New York], so it's in the Wall Street area [New York, New York] and obviously I and my wife both know that it's gonna be a tough day that we don't know what the source of the problem is. I immediately then, you know, go to the floor where we are watching and listening to New York in the Fed, decide a couple of things that are very important, the president has announced that there has been some sort of attack and--$$This is President Bush [President George Walker Bush] at this time (simultaneous)?$$--(Simultaneous) President Bush at this point--$$Um-hm.$$--that there's been some sort of attack and that we need to evacuate Washington. I made immediately the executive decision that I was not gonna leave the Fed, others could leave, I couldn't lock the door and make the staff stay, but I was not gonna evacuate my location. That proved to be really pretty important, because everybody else was moving around the city out of touch, my phones were still working, everyone could call me, so the Fed, not just my office, but I was part of it, became the spider in the web of information flow, the SEC, the CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], the Treasury [U.S. Department of the Treasury], the White House [Washington, D.C.], the New York Fed, a number of the important banks, we in Washington, I at the Fed and my team, the Fed team were central in knowing what was going on.$$And so you kept the financial system together during that time (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So we kept the financial system together. The second thing that we announced was that the Federal Reserve System was open and operating and that we were prepared to lend money.$$Throughout the entire time of--?$$Throughout the entire time. These things, as you point out, through lots of different technical reasons basically kept the Federal, the financial system operating, all checks got paid, the money market system still worked. A lot of technical things called the repo market, still worked and that was very important because there was no panic in America. Imagine if you would come to work one day and your check didn't clear on 9/11 (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$--or 9/12 [September 12, 2001], or you went to an ATM machine and you couldn't get money out of the machine, and so we kept the system operating, we kept the panic down and I truly believe that because of the good work that the Fed team did on that day, and I happen to be the one in the leadership role for the first two and a half days after 9/11, that we kept the economy from sinking into a deeper recession. At that point the economy had actually started to slow by the way. So I ran the Fed with a team but I was the team leader all on Tuesday, the September 11th, Wednesday September 12th, Alan got back very late on the 12th, he did some quite research, found that I had done a good job and basically I was responsible for the Feds initial reaction all through that first week. And, you know, I'm not a person given to immodesty, as you know--$$Um-hm.$$--and can tell, but, you know, things worked out well, the team did a really good job and in hindsight, obviously, I am pleased with the role that I played in keeping the system functioning--$$Would you say (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) after 9/11.$$--that's one of your proudest moments in your career?$$It's definitely my proudest moment. It's the moment that brought together my knowledge of the banking system, financial markets--$$And technology (simultaneous)?$$--(simultaneous) technology, the way the Fed system worked. It required a lot of international coordination as well, so having spent that time starting back in my little story about going to Chile and England, and other things that I did. So it all came together. It also was a time where communication was important and I learned a lot of communication skills from McKinsey [McKinsey and Company, New York, New York] and frankly sort of interpersonal skills, which are important all through life. So it's absolutely my finest moment and, you know, had we made other decisions, had I decided to evacuate the building or not keep the Fed System open, or not issue a statement, or not lend money, I do believe things would have been, you know, much worse.