It was an inauspicious start to an academic career—being told by your rural North Carolina school to not even think about going to college because the only option for you as a Black woman would be the military. But a change of schools, made possible by the family that your mother cleaned for, put paid to all that, and set you on the road to Williams, to advanced degrees in psychology and in education, to senior leadership positions at Misericordia University and Mount Saint Mary College, and now to the presidency of the College of Saint Benedict. Your scholarship has focused on African American religious history, religious education, and leadership, strategic planning, assessment, and diversity in the academy. With a focus on retention of at-risk students you launched a Center for Student Success. And you founded the Institute for Women’s Leadership to empower women to engage in inclusive dialog, reflective thinking, and ethical action that celebrates women as shapers of our world. Your goal has been to develop students who think critically, lead courageously, and advocate passionately. You have been elected to lead the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Private College Fund and have served on the board of the Women’s College Coalition—in all of these roles working to remove from the paths of students the kinds of barriers that once stood athwart your own.
In recognition of your distinguished achievement in higher education, Williams
College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.
September 16, 2017