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John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.

College president and academic administrator John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. was born on August 16, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Genester Millicent Nix and John Silvanus Wilson, Sr. He received his B.A. degree in business administration and management from Morehouse College in 1979. In 1981, Wilson earned his M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School. He then attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned his Ed.M. degree in education in 1982, and his Ed.D. degree in education in 1985.

Wilson began his career in 1985 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as an associate in the analytical studies and planning group in the office of the president. In that role, he conducted research for a report on the experiences of African American students at MIT. He then shifted to financial management and fundraising, serving first in corporate development and, ultimately, as director of foundation relations by 1994. He was an officer in two major capital campaigns at MIT, with goals of $700 million and $2 billion. In 2001, he moved from MIT to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. During his eight-year career there, Wilson served as senior assistant vice president from September to December 2001, executive dean of the Virginia campus from 2002 to 2006, and associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development from 2007 to 2009. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2009, where he remained until 2013. From January 2013 to April 2017, Wilson served as the eleventh president of Morehouse College. He moved to Harvard University as a president in residence at the School of Education, where he began research for a book about the future of American higher education, with an emphasis on HBCUs. In April 2018, Wilson was appointed as senior advisor and strategist to the president of Harvard University.

Wilson has served on multiple boards, including Spelman College and Harvard University. He has received various awards for his work in higher education, including the 1998 Bennie Leadership Award presented by Morehouse College, Ebony magazine’s Power 100 Award in 2014, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans Award in 2015.

Wilson and his wife, Carol Espy-Wilson, have three adult children: twin daughters, Ayana and Ashia, and son, John Silvanus Wilson, III.

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.096

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/27/2019

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Silvanus

Schools

Morehouse College

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

WIL93

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Perspective Is Worth A Hundred Points of IQ and Signal To Noise Ratio Is Everything

Bio Photo
Birth Date

8/16/1957

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Mushroom Risotto

Short Description

College president and academic administrator John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. (1957- ) was an academic administrator for twenty eight years before becoming the eleventh president of Morehouse College.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The George Washington University

White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Morehouse College

Harvard University School of Education

Harvard University

Kellogg National Fellowship Program

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program

Educational Testing Service

Rockefeller Foundation

Favorite Color

Black

Leonard Burnett, Jr.

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and executive Leonard Burnett was born on April 18, 1964 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His family was involved in franchising, which sparked his interest in entrepreneurship. After attending the University of Michigan for two years, Burnett went on to Florida A&M University, where he received his B.B.A. degree in business, management and marketing in 1986.

Burnett went into business with his classmate, Keith Clinkscales, to launch his first magazine, Urban Profile, in 1987, to fill a void in the media market. In 1992, Burnett and Clinkscales sold Urban Profile to Career Communications and got involved in the creation of Vibe magazine. From 1993 to 1999, Burnett served as a publisher and advertising director for the magazine. In 1999, he co-founded Vanguarde Media Group with Clinkscales. Burnett served as vice president and group publisher with Vanguarde and helped launch three successful urban magazines: Savoy, Honey, and Heart & Soul. In 2004, Burnett co-founded Uptown Media Group, or Uptown Ventures, publisher of Uptown magazine, where he served as the chief executive. The following year he helped Vibe magazine launch Vibe: Vixen. After Vibe reopened under new ownership in 2009, he served as the group publisher for the magazine until 2012.

In 2010, Burnett co-authored Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans. In 2013, he founded U Brands after re-purchasing Uptown magazine from InterMedia Partners and acquired Worldwide Electronic Publishing, the publisher of Hype Hair magazine. Burnett has successfully expanded the Uptown brand and reached underserved communities. He also has spoken at the ADCOLOR Awards and is considered an expert of African American buying power, brand-building, and marketing to both urban and affluent African American communities.

Burnett lives in New York City and has two children, Lenny Burnett III and Rani Burnett.

Leonard Burnett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.148

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/10/2014

Last Name

Burnett

Maker Category
Middle Name

Everett

Schools

Moreland Elementary School

Sterrett Elementary School

The Campus School Of Carlow University

Sacred Heart Elementary School

Shrine Catholic High School

University of Michigan

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leonard

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BUR24

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha’s Vineyard and St. Martin

Favorite Quote

If You Have To Say Who You Are, You Ain’t.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/18/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes

Short Description

Magazine publishing entrepreneur and magazine publishing chief executive Leonard Burnett, Jr. (1964 - ) was the cofounder of Vanguarde Media and cofounder and co-CEO of Uptown Ventures, the publisher of Uptown magazine. He was also author of Black is the New Green: Marketing to Affluent African Americans.

Employment

Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Urban Profile

Vibe Ventures

Vanguarde Media, Inc.

Uptown Media

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2208,13:3712,72:4088,77:14909,206:17237,240:21602,319:26840,429:28683,493:33145,574:33630,589:37995,685:45998,728:53152,822:53838,835:54524,840:57954,958:80720,1387:95292,1535:95884,1540:139450,2091:143779,2283:149896,2412:157067,2532:166190,2626$0,0:1748,31:4600,73:5704,88:20976,375:38862,546:45774,643:46530,651:47394,660:49554,679:51174,700:53118,726:55494,759:61738,820:62312,829:64280,872:69692,970:70266,981:71660,1025:74202,1084:74612,1090:75678,1113:76170,1121:76498,1126:77072,1136:77482,1142:83714,1294:85272,1326:88962,1417:89454,1424:90848,1472:102779,1581:105093,1638:124565,1945:129980,1996:133115,2175:140905,2294:153060,2378:157920,2479:170823,2696:180654,2942:187325,2988:187750,2994:188770,3009:189875,3027:192520,3060:193510,3098:194038,3112:194302,3122:195952,3177:196282,3183:199450,3276:199912,3284:204136,3408:210024,3447:218625,3540:219189,3549:220458,3585:221586,3599:224810,3607:226420,3633
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leonard Burnett, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his father's family background and early football career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's entrepreneurial career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his early interest in sports

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his family's frequent moves

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers transferring to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his first impressions of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his growth at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his experiences in Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the community at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls pledging the the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett reflects upon his formative development in college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes his early sales experiences at the Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers cofounding Urban Profile magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls operating Urban Profile magazine full time

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls joining the Career Communications Group, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the launch of Vibe magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls selling advertisements for Vibe magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the early staff of Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the emergence of hip hop culture

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the initial challenges at Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls the ownership transition period at Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett recalls leaving Vibe magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his attempts to buy XXL and Honey magazines

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his acquisition of Honey magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring magazines from BET

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the downfall of Vanguarde Media

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the aftermath of Vanguarde Media's bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his inspiration to return to work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about founding Uptown magazine, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls his return to Vibe magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the changes in the magazine industry in the early 2000s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the business plan for Uptown magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about Keith Clinkscales' career after the end of Vanguarde Media

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls acquiring Vibe magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the acquisition of Vibe magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. recalls divesting from Vibe to focus on Uptown magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. describes the U Brands company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about U Brands' projects

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his legacy and career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about his father's opinion of his career path

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leonard Burnett, Jr. shares his advice to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Leonard Burnett, Jr. remembers the launch of Vibe magazine
Leonard Burnett, Jr. talks about the emergence of hip hop culture
Transcript
And so doing that and then Keith [HistoryMaker Keith Clinkscales] got a call from Time Inc. They had--well back up. So Time Inc. had launched or did a test issue of this magazine called Vibe. And Vibe in their first little test issue had more ads than we had ever had in any, in all our combined issues. And so, but that sort of empowered us more. You know it was like you know, you know whoever is doing Vibe you know uncle time, you know they, they go had fund (unclear) and you know do this and we're just out here doing our own thing and we will make it happen, you know. We will just keep pushing, we're black owned, we're that. And so Keith got a call from, from Time Inc. from a friend, Lynne McDaniel who is now a friend of ours. And said hey, he said to him, "Hey if you notice Urban Profile--if you guys, what are you guys doing, you know? Are you happy?" Said, "Yeah, yeah," and you know, "Have you seen Vibe?" "Yeah, yeah, we've, we've seen it. It's cute you know." "Well we want to launch it and we were thinking about you and Len [HistoryMaker Leonard Burnett, Jr.] maybe coming up and help launching the magazine." And Keith's response was you know, "We all sort of both felt like okay that's, that's nice you know, but we're entrepreneurs, we're doing our own thing. We have our own autonomy you know, this is what I'm doing." "Okay well we're paying this much money." It was like, "Oh we'll be there tomorrow," (laughter). And so we, Keith went up in let's see, Keith went up in late '92 [1992] and I came down in February of '93 [1993] and just part of the team that launched the--$$And what was your role?$$I was the sales guy, I was account exec. So Keith was the president and CEO. I was account exec. A gentleman by the name of John Rollins you know technically hired, he hired me and I sold music advertising and had all the black agencies 'cause you know I was you know I was the black guy so I got all the black agencies. And, and so we were part of the team that launched Vibe. And you know great environment, met all sorts of people you know that, but, but the big thing was I'm back in New York City [New York, New York]. I cannot believe I'm back in New York. This was not what my life's plan was to be. Keith and I got a little studio apartment in Hell's Kitchen [New York, New York] you know while we were trying to figure out where we were gonna live you know but we were never there, we'd be in the office all the time. And we were you know all working hard trying to make this Vibe thing you know become a real business and a reality. And so that's how we got back.$So I wanna talk about what was going on culturally in America during the time that Vibe began and really had an incredible assent.$$Um-hm.$$What, you know, hip hop was just beginning. What--can you describe what was happening?$$Yeah. So you know hip hop you know it was beginning to become, be put on the map.$$Correct.$$You know 'cause it had, it had been there right, of course. And then the, but, but there was a sense of empowerment that was coming about from not the, the music. The music sort of drove everything, you know, culturally, politically, entrepreneur wise, fashion. Technically, it did, it drove all that and so what was quickly becoming known is, and Vibe really helped propel this, is our influence on American culture. We knew that, that the day was coming you know so we would talk. We would sell the idea hey when you grow up you'll listen to first music we listened to was pop music, you know. There are kids that were birthed around this time. The first music they're gonna listen to and the first radio station was gonna be a hip hop station. Their first athletes they're gonna fall in love with were black athletes basketball player. The, the, you know, the, the you know Serena [Serena Williams], the best black; the best tennis players were, were black. Golf champion [Tiger Woods] was black. And all this stuff was sort of happening. And was sort of turning America sort of upside down. This is it. And so what we knew at that time early on before we knew somehow was happening is that's where it was all going. No matter how much you didn't agree with it or what you didn't want to happen. What was going--what was happening was the browning of America not only from skin, but in terms of its aesthetic. And--$$Uh-huh.$$--and so you need--so the conversation was you can either jump in this conversation now and go for the ride or I'll see you later on down the road and it's gonna be a lot more expensive too, you know. And, and don't, and hope that no one else comes in along the way and jumps over you because they, they embraced it rather than fought it. And so, and so you know, and so everything was going on you know it's in the news. So there, there was a vibrance in a, and again empowerment. There were businesses being started in fashion or record labels being launched. And there were movies and movie companies coming out that were you know producing you know, black producers of movies. So obviously there was Spike Lee, but then you know the Hudlin brothers [HistoryMaker Reginald Hudlin and Warrington Hudlin], and you know, the, the whether it was just movies you know there, there were a plethora of movies were coming out that were about us and our culture and it start off very hip hop but then it grew into more of just our lifestyle, you know. So it wasn't all about gang banging and rap and it was about love. It was about family and all of our stories. And so there was a movement and I think there was a, again because of the music there was a sense of again going back to the idea of entre- being an entrepreneur, people didn't feel that they had to go work for Corporate America. There were other alternatives. There were other things that were going on whether it was going to work for a fashion company that was targeting our audience or whether it was starting your own business. I mean there was just a--there was a sense that you could do anything. And that was an exciting time, you know. And it, you know less to do about I think Vibe sort of told the stories but it's really the hip hop music and the culture that was making it happen.

William G. Mays

The son of two schoolteachers, William G. Mays was born in Evansville, Indiana on December 4th, 1945. Mays graduated from Evansville Lincoln High School in 1963 and then went on to Indiana University in Bloomington, where he majored in Chemistry. In 1970, William Mays was offered a Consortium Fellowship for advanced studies. He accepted the award and applied it to
graduate studies in Marketing and Finance at Indiana University, from which he received an M.B.A. in 1973.

After graduating Mays worked at Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, for four years where he served as Assistant to the President. Mays was then offered the opportunity to be President of Specialty Chemicals, a small distribution company in Indianapolis. During his three years as President, he increased the company's sales from $300,000 to over $5 million. William Mays left Specialty Chemicals in 1980 and became an entrepreneur after founding his own business, Mays Chemical Company. Mays Chemical Company, Inc., which specializes in providing chemical products to the food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries, began in 1980 as a one-person operation. Mr. Mays processed and filled each order himself. Over the years, however, the company has grown to include facilities in Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Mays Chemical Company has won numerous awards for excellence.

William Mays also owns The Indianapolis Recorder and is the former majority owner of the Hoosier Radio and Television Properties, which include WAV-TV53, HOT 96.3 FM, WGGR 106.7 FM and WIRE. He has significant interests in several other small businesses, including a property management firm, several golf courses and construction companies. In 1995, William Mays
enjoyed, the exceptional honor of carrying the Olympic flame through Indianapolis.

Accession Number

A2000.030

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/10/2000

Last Name

Mays

Maker Category
Middle Name

G.

Schools

Lincoln High School

Evansville Central High School

Indiana University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Evansville

HM ID

MAY02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Do It Right The First Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

12/4/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Indianapolis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Death Date

12/4/2014

Short Description

Corporate chief executive William G. Mays (1945 - 2014 ) was the founder of Mays Chemical Company, which specialized in providing chemical products to the food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. Mays Chemical Company began as a one man operation but grew to include facilities in Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Mays also owned The Indianapolis Recorder and was the former majority owner of the Hoosier Radio and Television Properties.

Employment

Cummins Engine Company

Specialty Chemicals

Mays Chemical Company

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:264,2:1254,17:1848,28:2904,45:3168,50:3894,66:4224,72:4818,82:5610,100:6402,114:6798,121:7062,126:8250,146:10296,190:11286,210:11682,217:15072,228:15336,233:15732,241:16326,253:17976,279:18240,284:21078,369:21738,380:22398,392:22728,398:23322,409:23652,415:24444,432:26358,471:27216,486:29064,531:29526,539:30054,549:30846,562:31110,567:32100,585:33222,610:33618,617:34674,642:34938,647:44725,748:45208,753:45553,759:46105,769:46795,786:48175,812:48658,820:49555,836:50038,845:51349,867:51763,881:52729,905:53626,920:53902,925:54178,930:54454,935:55006,946:57766,1010:68874,1208:69142,1213:69611,1222:70348,1234:71554,1256:71822,1261:72090,1266:73564,1289:73832,1294:75038,1319:75574,1328:76981,1364:77584,1383:78388,1396:79326,1418:82274,1489:85892,1563:86629,1575:91280,1583$0,0:560,4:1050,12:1330,17:4060,42:4550,50:4900,56:5460,65:8890,122:10710,152:11200,160:12390,194:13020,205:16170,256:16450,261:17780,293:18060,298:18970,314:19250,319:19810,328:20230,336:26398,393:28766,443:29210,451:29506,456:30246,470:32096,496:32614,505:33132,513:33724,519:34464,531:36018,556:38904,606:39200,611:40236,632:40976,648:41346,654:45882,678:46296,685:46848,695:48849,729:49815,746:50160,752:50712,761:51333,776:51609,781:52023,788:54576,816:54852,821:55611,834:57060,859:57957,874:59061,905:64810,946:65284,954:68602,1019:69708,1039:70024,1044:70893,1053:72631,1087:73974,1113:74369,1118:80990,1192:82040,1220:83860,1247:84490,1265:85050,1275:85890,1301:87080,1332:87920,1350:89110,1380:90790,1403:91350,1412:103328,1569:103760,1577:104264,1586:105704,1617:106064,1623:106712,1636:108008,1663:108512,1673:109232,1689:109592,1695:110816,1724:111176,1730:118573,1791:122300,1826:124628,1846:129672,1915:132010,1927
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William G. Mays' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William G. Mays lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William G. Mays talks about his family's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William G. Mays describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William G. Mays describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about growing up in Evansville, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William G. Mays describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William G. Mays describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William G. Mays talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William G. Mays describes what influenced him as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William G. Mays remembers trying to fit in as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - William G. Mays talks about his father's education and love of chemistry

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - William G. Mays describes himself as a student

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - William G. Mays describes the impact of his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - William G. Mays talks about what inspired him to pursue chemistry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William G. Mays describes how his father's death made him more disciplined

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his successful marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about getting married

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William G. Mays describes working as a test chemist

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about working for Procter and Gamble

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William G. Mays describes how Procter and Gamble dealt with racism

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William G. Mays reflects upon the skills he developed as a salesperson for Procter and Gamble

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William G. Mays talks about leaving Procter and Gamble to attend business school at Indiana University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William G. Mays describes attending business school at Indiana University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - William G. Mays talks about wanting to work for Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - William G. Mays describes the influence of J. Irwin Miller, former President of Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about building a network of black professionals at Cummins Engine Company, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about building a network of black professionals at Cummins Engine Company, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes his growth within Cummins Engine Company

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about being hired as President of Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William G. Mays talks about developing the skillset to run Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about his resignation as President of Specialty Chemicals

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about founding Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about the growth and success of Mays Chemical Company pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William G. Mays talks about the growth and success of Mays Chemical Company pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William G. Mays describes the support he received in founding Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William G. Mays describes how his professional network aided the growth of Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's staff during the early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about his entrepreneurial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes how a 1983 Wall Street Journal article contributed to the growth of Mays Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's most significant milestones

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William G. Mays talks about the positives and negatives of purchasing other companies in the chemical distribution industry

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William G. Mays talks about the state of minorities in the chemical distribution industry and minority-owned businesses

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about Mays Chemical Company's standing in corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about the evolution of black entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William G. Mays considers the future of minorities in business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William G. Mays talks about DreamMakers and the Black Enterprise 100

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William G. Mays talks about entrepreneurs he admires

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William G. Mays talks about the concept of black businesses "selling out"

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - William G. Mays considers institutions, programs, and values that will contribute to a positive future for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - William G. Mays talks about his investment ventures

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - William G. Mays talks about building trust in the business industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William G. Mays talks about his investments

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William G. Mays talks about his philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William G. Mays describes Mays Chemical Company's commitment to giving everyone a chance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William G. Mays talks about the importance of minority economic development in America

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William G. Mays describes his business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William G. Mays describes how his chemistry background contributed to his success

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William G. Mays talks about his father and his future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William G. Mays talks about his legacy and the future of black entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William G. Mays narrates his photographs pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William G. Mays narrates his photographs pt. 2

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DATitle
William G. Mays talks about pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and reflects upon the significance of Black Greek Letter Organizations pt. 2
William G. Mays describes how a 1983 Wall Street Journal article contributed to the growth of Mays Chemical Company
Transcript
I think the, the feeling of belonging is, is very important. And being part of a group, part of an organization, having some place to retreat to from the hostilities. And that's the way I would say it of, of campus life. The fact that so many of the organizations on a campus like Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana] were white organizations. They had no, no particular interest in black culture or black history or black exposures. The dancing was different, everything was different. So I think that's why you end up leaning toward an organization like that. Now Kappas specifically, my dad had always wanted to, to be--and he felt that was one of the, the--was the best fraternity. And so that certainly was an influence. I think that Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity had a house. It was founded at Indiana University, and that was significant to me. I looked at the people that were in the fraternity and they were more like me, I guess is the way to say it. As a matter of fact, I mean if you look at the--at that time the three of the, the base fraternities, you had the Omegas [Omega Psi Phi Fraternity], and you had Alphas [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity] and you had Kappas. And the Alphas were more the high strung intellectual types in more ways than one, and the Ques were more of the doggie type, athletic perhaps, and Kappas were kind of in between. They had intellectual capacity, they played sports, but they weren't extremes. And I guess those were the--if you look at Ques and Alphas, they tended to be extreme, at least as far as my exposure at Indiana.$The article came about in 1983 and it was talking about Chemical Investors and this guy, Zengraft, Jerry Zengraft and the shyster nature of what he was dealing with, and this, remember this was before the collapse of, of that company. But again, even the news media was picking up on it. So this reporter was in town from New York to talk about Chemical Investors. But along the way he was fascinated when he talked to me and said well I'd like to come back and do a story on just you. So he wrote an article about growing too fast. And--cause we had grown really quite, quite handedly as I indicated from zero to nine million dollars in that three year period. And so he talked about the dangers of growing. And that was published in the Small Business Section of the Wall Street Journal in August of 1983. John Thompson was working for McKenzie and Company in New York at the time, and saw that article and wrote me. And wanted to, to come to work for, for Mays Chemical. And I said why would--one, I can't afford you. An MBA from Columbia working for McKenzie, the premier consulting, you know, New York City, you know that didn't even, that didn't even make any sense. But he persisted and said yeah, he said well we ought to talk about it he says, because I really want to get to the Midwest, I really wanna get my family out of New York. And Midwest is a place that I--and I know the chemical industry, I've studied it at McKenzie, and I could really do a, an excellent job. So that was probably I guess in November of '83 [1983], and John Thompson came on board in early '84 [1984]. And so he's still with us. So surrounding yourself with, with good people and, and young people, cause I'm one of the older people in the company. I think that there may be, may be as many as ten percent of the company that's 50 or above, certainly 55. So I think that that bodes very well for the, for the company too.