Black History Month: Harrison B. Wilson, Jr.

By: Maya Brown

Harrison B. Wilson Jr., was born in Amsterdam, NY. He attended Kentucky State University in 1944 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree.

According to Black Past, he left for two years to go to the United States Navy. During his time at school, he was an honor student and played many sports. He was a star athlete in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

He went on to receive a Master’s degree and Doctorate’s degree in Health Science and Administration from Indiana University. He went to Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) to work, where he was a professor, administrator, and basketball coach.

According to History Makers, Dr. Wilson was a chairman and professor of health and physical education. Then, he went to Fisk University and worked with the president as his assistant.

In 1975, Dr. Wilson became the third president of Norfolk State University. Under his leadership, the school expanded to nine schools and twenty-nine departments and the enrollment grew from 6,700 to 8,100 students.

Dr. Wilson is married to Dr. Lucy Wilson, who is also an educator. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Mu fraternity.

His legacy at Kentucky State University as a student, Jackson State College as a professor and coach, and Norfolk State University as a president is instrumental in the development of many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).


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