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EducationMakers include teachers, professors, education administrators, and education consultants, as well as museum and library professionals and historians. These HistoryMakers have each spent a significant portion of their careers advancing educational philosophies, teaching, advising, and mentoring students, breaking new ground in developing curricula, or sharing information through programming and exhibits.

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

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

Birth Date

8/12/1945

Birth Place Term
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

Pamela Junior

Museum director Pamela Junior was born on August 11, 1958 in Jackson, Mississippi to Beulah Carolyn Green Turner and Melvin Allen Crockett. She graduated from Wingfield High School in Jackson, Mississippi in 1975 and received her B.A. degree in therapeutic recreation and special education from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi in 1981.

After graduation, Junior served as a park ranger with the National Parks Service in Washington, D.C. In 1990, she returned to Mississippi and served as a secretary for a year before joining the Parks and Recreation Department in the City of Jackson as a facilities coordinator. Junior was promoted to supervisor in the Recreation Department, where she oversaw programming in eight community centers. In this role, Junior established the first August Festival, a city-wide Easter egg hunt, and the first Halloween carnival. In 1999, she was hired as the manager of the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, where she became co-coordinator of the National Arts Program (NAP), and also curated and organized the Mississippi Blues: A Pictorial History of Poverty in the Rural South exhibit at the Smith Robertson Museum in 2009. Junior stepped down from her position at Smith Robertson and was named director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation, in 2017.

Junior served on the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area board of directors, the Mississippi Book Festival and co-founded the Mississippi Black Theater Festival. In 2014, under Junior’s leadership, the Smith Robertson Museum was named among the 50 States 50 spots by CNN. The following year, Junior was honored at Jackson State University at the 47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Convocation. In 2018, Junior received the Civil Rights and Social Justice Award at the 8th Annual National Civil Rights Conference. She is also the recipient of the Freedom Rider Award from the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation, the For My People Award from the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, and the Hometown Hero Award from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Pamela Junior was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/23/2019

Last Name

Junior

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Smith Robertson School

Jim Hill High School

Jackson State University

First Name

Pamela

Birth City, State, Country

Jackson

HM ID

JUN01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Ghana, Africa

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

8/11/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Museum director Pamela Junior (1959 - ) managed the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and served as museum director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Employment

Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center

National Park Service

Parks and Recreation Department

National Arts Program

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

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

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

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

Annette Gordon-Reed

Lawyer, historian, and professor, Annette Gordon-Reed was born on November 19, 1958 in Livingston, Texas to Alfred and Bettye Jean Gordon. She was the first to integrate her elementary school in Conroe, Texas, and later graduated with high distinction from Dartmouth University with her B.A. degree in history in 1981. Gordon-Reed then attended Harvard Law School where she received her J.D. degree in 1984 and was the first African American editor for the Harvard Law Review.

In 1984, Gordon-Reed was hired as an associate at the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York. She subsequently became general counsel for the New York City Board of Corrections in 1987 where she wrote minimum standards for New York City’s jails. Gordon-Reed served here until 1992, when she became a professor at the New York Law School. She published her first book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy in 1997. Four years later, she published Vernon Jordan’s memoir, Vernon Can Read!, which received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the 2002 BCALA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. In 2003, she contributed to Howard Dodson’s Jubilee: The Emergence of African-American Culture. Gordon-Reed was hired by Rutgers University in 2007 as a professor of history, and the following year she published The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. This book won over ten awards, including the 2008 National Book Award, the 2009 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction, and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History, of which she was the first African American recipient. Gordon-Reed left New York Law School and Rutgers University in 2010 upon joining Harvard University as a professor of history and American legal history. The same year she was named the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a role she held until 2016. In 2011, Gordon-Reed released her book, Andrew Johnson; and, in 2017, she published Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination which was a New York Times Bestseller, and won numerous awards including being named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection.

Gordon-Reed has been a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the American Philosophical Society, and was the 2018-2019 president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.

In addition to her book’s awards, Gordon-Reed received the 2009 National Humanities Medal, the Woman of Power & Influence Award from the National Organization for Women in New York City, as well as an honorary degree from Ramapo College and the College of William & Mary. She has also been awarded New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship in Humanities, and the 2010 MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grant.

Gordon-Reed resides in Manhattan with her husband, New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed. They have two children, Susan and Gordon.

Annette Gordon-Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.113

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2019

Last Name

Gordon-Reed

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Annette

HM ID

GOR08

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

United Kingdom

Favorite Quote

To Everything There Is A Season, And A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

French Fries

Short Description

Lawyer, historian, and professor, Annette Gordon-Reed (1958- ) is a professor of law and history at Harvard University, and was the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize in History for her 2008 publication, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.

Favorite Color

Blue

Johnnetta Betsch Cole

College president, museum director and civic leader Johnnetta Betsch Cole was born on October 19, 1936 in Jacksonville, Florida to John Thomas and Mary Frances Lewis Betsch. She was admitted to Fisk University at the age of fifteen, and later transferred to Oberlin College where she received her B.A. degree in sociology in 1957. Cole earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1959 and 1967.

In 1970, Cole accepted a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she served as a professor of anthropology and Afro-American studies. In 1982, Cole joined the faculty at Hunter College and served as the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was named the first black woman president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. During her tenure as president, she led a campaign that raised over $113 million dollars, attracted higher student enrollment, and improved Spelman’s overall ranking. In 1992, Cole served on President Bill Clinton’s transition team as cluster coordinator for education, labor, and the arts. After leaving Spelman in 1997, Cole joined Emory University as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women Studies and African American studies. From 2002 to 2007, she served as the president of Bennett College. There, she led a $50 million campaign, raised funds for an on-campus art museum, and initiated the women’s studies and global studies programs. In 2009, she was named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.

Cole authored and edited numerous books including All American Women: Lines That Divide,Ties That Bind (ed.) in 1986, Anthropology for the Ninties (ed.) in 1988, Conversations: Straight Talk with America’s Sister President in 1994, Gender Talk – the Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American’s Communities in 2003, edited with Beverly Guy-Sheftall,Who Should Be First? Feminist Speak Out On The 2008 Presidential Campaign, edited with Beverly Guy-Sheftall in 2010, and Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in Museums, edited with Laura L. Lott in 2019.

Cole has served on the boards of Coca Cola Enterprises, Merck & Co., Home Depot, the Rockefeller Foundation, and United Way of America. She also served as chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College, and she served as the President of the Association of Art Museum Directors. She is currently the chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women.

She has received numerous awards, including the 1988 Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the 2013 Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award, the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, and the BET Honors Award for Education in 2015. Cole has been awarded sixty-nine honorary degrees and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Cole is married to James D. Staton, Jr. She has three sons, one step-son and three grandchildren.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on February 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.016

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/11/2019

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Betsch

Schools

Fisk University

Oberlin College

Northwestern University

Boylan-Haven School

First Name

Johnnetta

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

COL37

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

American Beach On Amelia Island

Favorite Quote

When Women Lead, Streams Run Uphill

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/19/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Seafood, Peanut Butter

Short Description

College president, museum director and civic leader Johnnetta Betsch Cole (1936 - ) became the first African American female president of Spelman College in 1987 before being named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in 2009.

Employment

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hunter College

Spelman College

Emory University

Bennett College

National Museum of African Art

Washington State University

Bill Clinton Administration

Favorite Color

Red and Black

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, D.C.

HM ID

SIN03

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bethany Beach, DE

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/30/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

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 Roxbury, 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

Tucker-Underwood

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

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

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 in 1997. 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
Organizations
First Name

Charlena

Birth City, State, Country

Washington D.C.

HM ID

SEY02

Favorite Season

Fall and Spring

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

Martha's Vineyard

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.

Favorite Color

Blue

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
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/16/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

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

Matthew Holden, Jr.

Political scientist Matthew Holden, Jr. was born on September 12, 1931 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi to Estell Holden and Matthew Holden, Sr. He received his B.A. degree in political science from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois in 1954 and served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois in 1956 and 1961.

Holden joined the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1961. In 1963, he was hired at the University of Pittsburgh. During this period, Holden also worked at Resources for the Future, Inc. in Washington, D.C. He returned to the faculty at Wayne State University in 1966, where he remained until 1969. Holden was then hired by the Washington, D.C. based independent think tank, the Urban Institute, and later became professor of political science and public policy administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving in that capacity until 1981. In 1973, Holden published The Politics of the Black Nation, followed by The White Man’s Burden in 1974. From 1975 to 1977, Holden was appointed by Wisconsin governor Pat Lucey to serve on the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Holden later became the first African American appointee of President Jimmy Carter’s, where he served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, Holden was named the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and served there until 2002. He later became the Wepner Distinguished Professor in political science at the University of Illinois, Springfield in 2009.

From 1969 to 1972, Holden served on the Social Science Research Council board and held a part-time position on the President’s Air Quality Advisory board in 1972. In 1974, Holden served as chairman of the Elections Committee for the American Political Science Association; and, from 1998 to 1999, he served as president of the American Political Science Association.

Holden also received an honorary L.L.D. degree from Tuskegee University in 1985, and the Otto Wirth Award from the Roosevelt University Alumni Association in 1998. Two years later, he was awarded an honorary L.H.D. degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary. In 2012, Holden’s biography was entered into the U.S. Congressional Record.

Matthew Holden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.031

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2019

Last Name

Holden

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern University

Roosevelt University

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

University of Chicago

First Name

Matthew

Birth City, State, Country

Mound Bayou

HM ID

HOL24

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

9/12/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Political scientist Matthew Holden, Jr. (1931 - ) was the professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1969 to 1981, and the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia from 1981 to 2002.

Employment

University of Virginia

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wayne State University

University of Pittsburgh

University of Illinois at Springfield

Cornell University

Jackson State University

Favorite Color

Blue