2017 Keynote Speakers

Dr. David Wilson

David Wilson, Ed.D., the 12th president of Morgan State University, has a long record of accomplishment and more than 30 years of experience in higher education administration. Dr. Wilson holds four academic degrees: a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in education from Tuskegee University; an Ed.M. in educational planning and administration from Harvard University and an Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy, also from Harvard. He came to Morgan from the University of Wisconsin, where he was chancellor of both University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin–Extension. Before that, he held numerous other administrative posts in academia, including: vice president for University Outreach and associate provost at Auburn University, and associate provost of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Dr. Wilson’s tenure as Morgan’s president, which began on July 1, 2010, has been characterized by great gains for the University. Among the many highlights: a second-year retention rate of 76 percent for the entering class of 2013, the highest rate in two decades and the fourth consecutive year that the rate has exceeded 70 percent; procurement of the university’s largest-ever research contract, a $28.5-million, five-year contract from NASA; inclusion of Morgan as one of the recipients of a $129-million energy innovation research grant to Penn State University; an alumni participation in giving rate of 17 percent for fiscal year 2015, representing a 183 percent increase since 2010; the founding of a new school, the School of Global Journalism and Communication; the launch of an aggressive initiative to maintain excellence in customer service and improve the information technology infrastructure on campus; new construction on campus valued at more than $271 million; signing of articulation agreements with several two-year colleges, bringing Morgan bachelor’s degrees to their campuses; approval of Morgan’s first off-campus baccalaureate program by the State of Maryland; establishment of Morgan’s first online degree program; a significant expansion of study abroad opportunities for Morgan students; and the continuation of Morgan’s status as the No. 1 HBCU in production of Fulbright scholars and grantees.

Dr. Wilson has authored two books and more than 20 articles published in scholarly journals. Among the many honors and recognitions he has received for his work: he was named one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education by the American Association of Higher Education in 1998, was selected as one of The Daily Record newspaper’s Influential Marylanders for 2011, and was honored by the University of Alabama with an award for outstanding leadership in engaged scholarship in April 2011.

Dr. Wilson has been appointed by the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology to serve a three-year term as a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. He is president of the HBCU/China Network, a member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council and the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Governing Board and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In February 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him to his 11-member Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Wilson has served on the Board of United Way of Central Maryland.

Dr. Wilson’s achievements as leader of Maryland’s Public Urban University have clearly been strong, but it is the character he brings to the presidency, a character shaped by the intangibles of his background, that is perhaps most impressive of all. Dr. Wilson grew up with 10 siblings on a sharecropper farm outside the small town of McKinley, Ala. Through hard work, tenacity and the encouragement of his father and his teachers, he became the first person in his family to attend college. Dr. Wilson builds upon that legacy as the proud father of Nyere Brown Wilson, a freshman majoring in business administration at Morgan.

Dr. Wilson’s educational philosophy is to put the students’ experience first. As a leader, he is a consensus builder and a strong believer in transparency of process. His goal is to make Morgan a leader in producing the next wave of innovators in the U.S.

“I’ve always tried to create an atmosphere where I work so people don’t see what they do as a job,” he says. “It’s a calling.”

Dr. Stacey Patton

Dr. Stacey Patton is an Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at Morgan State University,  an award-winning journalist, author, and child advocate. Her writings on race, politics, pop culture, higher education and child welfare have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, Al Jazeera, BBC News, TheRoot.com. She has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CBS, Al Jazeera and Democracy Now. She has received reporting awards from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Scripps Howard Foundation, New York Women in Communications, National (and New York) Association of Black Journalists, Education Writers Association, and she is the 2015 recipient of the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Excellence in reporting on American race relations.  In addition to her journalistic work, Dr. Patton is also the creator of Spare the Kids, an online portal designed to encourage parents and caretakers to use alternatives to hitting children in an effort to combat racial disparities in child abuse cases, foster care placements, juvenile justice, and criminal prosecutions for child maltreatment. She is the author of That Mean Old Yesterday–A Memoir, and the new book Spare The Kids: Why Whooping Children Won’t Save Black America.

“Stacey Patton is part of a new wave of black journalists who are honing their voices in the midst of this nation’s ongoing struggle for racial justice,” said DeWayne Wickham, dean for Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication. “She and others like her are the linear successors of John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish, the founders of this nation’s first black newspaper, who explained their undertaking by wishing to plead our own cause and speak on behalf of ourselves. Patton is one of the emerging voices of black America.”