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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.

Spencer Crew

Museum director and historian Spencer R. Crew was born on January 7, 1949 in Woodmere Village, Ohio to R. Spencer and Ada Lee Scott Crew. Crew received his B.A. degree in history in 1971 from Brown University and his M.A. degree in history in 1973 and his Ph.D. in history in 1979, both from Rutgers University.

From 1978 to 1981, Crew was an assistant professor of African American and American history at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in Catonsville, Maryland while pursuing his Ph.D. degree. In 1981, Crew began working as a historian at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). In 1987, he became a curator of the NMAH’s division of community life and curated his first exhibit titled Field to Factory: African-American Migration, 1915-1940. At the same time, he also worked as a consultant for the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee and the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. From 1991 to 1992, Crew served as the NMAH’s deputy director and in 1992, he was named acting director of the NMAH until 1994 when he was made director of NMAH. In 2001, he left the NMAH to become executive director and president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he stayed for six years. In 2008, Crew joined George Mason University as a Robinson professor in the history and art history departments. He was then appointed interim director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in 2019.

Crew has been a member of the Organization of American Historians and has sat on the boards of the American Association of Museums and the National Council for History Education as chair. At Brown University, he served as trustee, president-elect of the Alumni Association, and on the Advisory Council on Diversity. Crew also served as an editorial board member of the Journal of American History.

Crew has won numerous awards for his work, including the Osceola Award in 1988 from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Robert A. Brooks Award in 1994, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Service Award in 1994. Crew was also inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Rutgers University in 2003 and received the McMickmen College Distinguished Leadership Award from the University of Cincinnati in 2004.

Spencer and his wife, Sandra Lorraine Prioleau, live in Washington D.C. They have two children, Alika and Adom.

Spencer R. Crew was interviewed by The History Makers on January 23, 2020.

Accession Number

A2020.006

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/23/2020

Last Name

Crew

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
First Name

Spencer

HM ID

CRE03

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Museum director and historian Spencer R. Crew (1949- ) was director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History division of community life and president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center before becoming director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in 2019.

Favorite Color

Red

Dr. Donald E. Wilson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2020.004

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/25/2020

Last Name

Wilson

Middle Name

E

Organizations
First Name

Donald

HM ID

WIL96

Favorite Season

Christmas

Favorite Quote

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

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Blue

Ruth J. Simmons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.134

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/3/2019

Last Name

Simmons

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

J.

Schools

W.R. Banks Elementary School

Phillis Wheatley High School

Dillard University

Wellesley College

George Washington University

Harvard University

Atherton Elementary

First Name

Ruth

Birth City, State, Country

Grapeland

HM ID

SIM14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

France

Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/3/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Prairie View

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken Enchiladas With Rice And Refried Beans, Gumbo

Short Description

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

Employment

Brown University

Prairie View A&M University

Smith College

Princeton University

Spelman College

University of Southern California

California State University, Northridge

University of New Orleans

Radcliffe College

George Washington University

Language Services Division, U.S. Department of State

Favorite Color

Red

Miles M. Jackson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2019

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Merrill

Schools

Armstrong High School

Virginia Union University

Drexel University, College of Information Technology

Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications

First Name

Miles

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

JAC49

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

4/28/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue Ribs and Seafood

Short Description

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

Employment

Free Library of Philadelphia

C.P. Huntington Memorial Library, Hampton University

U.S. Government

Trevor Arnett Library, Atlanta University

University of Tehran

School of Information Studies, State University of New York

Graduate School of Library Science, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

University of Hawaii at Mānoa

Favorite Color

Brown

Helen L. Stewart

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

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

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

Stewart resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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

Accession Number

A2019.139

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/11/2019

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Langhorne

Schools

Poitiers American High School

Drew University

Boston University

Brandeis University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Helen

Birth City, State, Country

Lynchburg

HM ID

STE25

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

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

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Only if travel is required

Favorite Season

Late Spring and Early Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Austria and France

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

5/21/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Favorite Food

Pork Chops and Spinach

Short Description

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

Employment

Harvard University

United Nations Development Program

Wellesley College

Brandeis University

San Francisco State University

Sonoma State University

Rider University

University of Metaphysics

Community-University Research Associates

U.S. Department of State; Language Services Division

Operation Crossroads Africa

Harvard University Extension

Emerson College

Boston University

Favorite Color

Neon Blue, Emerald Green, and Fuchsia

Kathryn Waddell Takara

Poet and professor Kathryn Waddell Takara was born in 1943 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Lottie and Dr. William Waddell IV. After graduating from George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, she earned her B.A. degree from Tufts University in 1965. Takara went on to receive her M.A. degree in French from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, and her Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in 1995.

In 1971, Takara joined the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa as an assistant professor, where she developed courses in African American and African politics, history, literature, and culture. During her thirty-one year career at the university, she rose to associate professor in the university’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program and taught French. Her poetry has been published in a variety of publications including; Interdisciplinary Studies Humanities Journal, Honolulu Stories, Words Upon the Waters, The African Journal of New Poetry, Arkansas Review, Africa Literary Journal, Julie Mango Press, Poetry Motel, Peace & Policy, From Totems to Hip Hop, Hawai`i Review, Chaminade Literary Review, All She Wrote: Hawai`i Women s Voices, and World of Poetry, An Anthology. Her essays have appeared in the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, The Black Scholar, Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace, The Western Journal of Black Studies, and The Honolulu Advertiser. She performed her poetry and lectured extensively throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the Continental United States, and in Beijing and Qingdao, China. In 2003, Takara launched Pacific Raven Press, serving as its owner, editor, and publisher. She published three books of poetry: New and Collected Poems in 2003, Pacific Raven: Hawaii Poems in 2009, and Tourmalines: Beyond the Ebony Portal in 2010. She also released a poetic trilogy, including the books Love’s Seasons in 2014, Zimbabwe Spin in 2015, and Shadow Dancing: $elling $urvival in China in 2016.

Takara was the recipient of the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents Outstanding Teacher Award and was a two-time Fulbright Fellow, in 1966 and 1996. She received the 2010 American Book Award for her published work Pacific Raven: Hawai`i Poems. She was knighted into the Orthodox Order of St. John, Russian Grand Priory in 2014, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education and African American history and culture in Hawai’i from the NAACP in 2016.

Kathryn Takara was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.137

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/10/2019

Last Name

Takara

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Marie Waddell Brundage

Occupation
Schools

George School

Tufts University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Hawaii at Manoa

First Name

Kathryn

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

TAK01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Qingdao, China/Bordeaux, France/Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

12/26/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ka'a'awa

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Breakfast

Short Description

Poet and professor Kathryn Takara (1943- ), an award winning poet, has performed her works in Africa, Europe, Central America, Tahiti and China, and served as associate professor from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.

Employment

University of California Berkeley

Hawaii Pacific University

Chaminade College

University of Hawaii Lab School

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Winward Community College

University of Hawaii

University of Qingdao

Pacific Raven Press

Favorite Color

Aquamarine

Leon Richards

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.136

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2019

Last Name

Richards

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Lomax School

George Washington Carver High School

George Washington Carver Junior High School

Alabama State University

University of Hawaii at Manoa

First Name

Leon

Birth City, State, Country

Autauga County

HM ID

RIC25

Favorite Season

Hawaii All Year, Springtime in Alabama and Japan

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

The World

Favorite Quote

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

Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

6/7/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Honolulu

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Collard Greens with Neck Bones, Sukiyaki

Short Description

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

Employment

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

Kapi'olani Community College

University of Hawaii Community Colleges System

Wai'anae High School

Wai'anae Research & Planning Center

University of Hawaii Department of Political Science

Model Cities' Research and Planning Program

East -West Center Communication Institute

Favorite Color

Blue and Black

Leo Morton

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.119

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2019

Last Name

Morton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

Center Street Elementary School

Ullman High School

Tuskegee University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Leo

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MOR21

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

A Cruise With My Family

Favorite Quote

Bless Me To Be A Blessing To Others

Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

8/12/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Kansas City

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Apple Pie

Short Description

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

Employment

DeBruce Companies

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Aquila, Inc.

AT&T Microelectronics

Bell Laboratories

Corning Glass

Rust Engineering

General Motors

Favorite Color

Blue

Mary Yearwood

Archivist Mary Yearwood was born on January 14, 1954 in Barbados to Frederick and Una Yearwood. She attended St. Mary’s Infant School, St. Mary’s Junior School, and St. Leonard’s Girls Secondary School. Yearwood moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York in 1969. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1972, Yearwood received her B.A. degree in literature from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1976. She went on to receive her M.L.S degree from Columbia University School of Library Service in 1981.

In 1975, while attending Brooklyn College, Yearwood worked as a page in the music division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. In 1977, she joined New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as a technical assistant in the manuscripts, archives and rare books division. Upon receiving her M.L.S. degree, Yearwood was promoted to librarian in the manuscripts, archives and rare books division. From 1993 to 2017, she served as curator of the photographs and prints division, working extensively with the Morgan and Martin Smith, Austin Hanson, and Richard Saunders collections. She then became director of collections and information services in 2017. During her forty-three year career at the Schomburg Center, she curated the “St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Bicentennial Exhibition” in 2009, “President Barack Obama: The First Year” in 2010, “Harlem Views/Diasporan Visions: The New Harlem Renaissance Photographers” in 2011, and “Curators’ Choice: Black Life Matters” in 2016. Yearwood also stewarded collections from Malcom X and Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. She retired from the Schomburg Center in 2020.

In 2017, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Yearwood to the Archives, Reference and Research Advisory Board. Yearwood is also a member of the American Library Association. In 2016, Yearwood received the Leadership Award from the New York Public Library.

Yearwood resides in New York City.

Mary Yearwood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.116

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/24/2019

Last Name

Yearwood

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

St. Mary's Infant School

St. Mary's Primary School

St. Leonard's Girls Secondary School

Abraham Lincoln High School

Brooklyn College

Columbia University School of Library Service

First Name

Mary

HM ID

YEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Work Hard, Aim High, Keep Pure

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/4/1954

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Barbados

Favorite Food

Okra and Lamb

Short Description

Archivist Mary Yearwood (1954 - ) worked at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for forty-three years, as a librarian, curator of photographs and prints, and director of collections and information services.

Employment

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Favorite Color

Red, Magenta and Orange Hues

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

Country

USA

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