Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award


​Established to honor the late Reginald Wilson, the founding director of the Office of Minority Concerns, this award honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities and other underrepresented populations in higher education.


2023 Winner

Anderson Parks, Kuolt Distinguished Professor of Business, senior lecturer, and diversity, equity, and inclusion faculty fellow at Central Washington University


Past Award Recipients

ACE has been bestowing the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership award since 2001, when Jewel Plummer Cobb, James J. Duderstadt, and Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. became the first ever recipients. Click to expand the area below to learn more about our past recipients.

2022 - Carlos O. Cortez, Chancellor, San Diego Community College

2021 - James L. Moore III, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, The Ohio State University

2020 - Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

2019 - Shaun R. Harper, Provost Professor of Business and Executive Director of the Race and Equity Center, University of Southern California

​2018 - Janet Napolitano, President, University of California

​2017 - Mildred García, President, California State University, Fullerton

2016 - Santa J. Ono, President, University of Cincinnati​

​2015 - Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania

2014 - Charlene M. Dukes, President, Prince ​George’s Community College (MD)

2013 - Johnnetta B. Cole, Director, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

2012 - James M. Rosser, President, California State University, Los Angeles

2011 - Nancy Cantor, Chancellor and President, Syracuse University (NY)

2010 - Bob Suzuki, President Emeritus, California Polytechnic University, Pomona

2009 - Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

2008 - Eduardo J. Padron, President, Miami Dade College (FL)


William E. Cox, President/CEO, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Frank L. Matthews, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

James Moeser, Former Chancellor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Diana S. Natalicio, President, The University of Texas at El Paso


Tomas Arciniega, President Emeritus, California State University-Bakersfield

Jacquelyn M. Belcher, President Emeritus, Georgia Perimeter College

Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, Chancellor Emeritus, Indiana University-Bloomington


Juliet V. Garcia, Former President, The University of Texas at Brownsville

Frank H.T. Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University

John B. Slaughter, Former President and CEO, The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.; Former Chancellor, University of Maryland College Park; and former President, Occidental University

Tom Joyner, Nationally Syndicated Radio Personality and Philanthropist


Jewel Plummer Cobb, President and Professor of Biological Science Emerita, and Fullerton and Trustee Professor, California State University, Fullerton

James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr., Former Vice Chancellor for Educational and Student Development, Maricopa Community Colleges, and Research Professor, Arizona State University


​Remembering Reginald Wilson

Reginald Wilson, the namesake of this award who served as ACE Senior Scholar Emeritus since 1998 and has been an inspiration to so many in higher education and beyond, passed away Dec. 13, 2020. We pay tribute to his leadership and service and will miss a dear colleague and friend. Here is a brief biography of his accomplishments:

Reginald Wilson’s career as a visionary leader and teacher has inspired and benefited many. Wilson was a preeminent national advocate on issues related to diversity and equity in higher education who joined ACE in 1981 as director of the Office of Minority Concerns after serving as the president of Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan for 10 years.

In addition to authoring numerous books, articles, and research studies, in 1985 Wilson and his team released the first ACE “Minorities in Higher Education Status Report,” which became an indispensable document charting how well and how poorly we are doing in expanding access to postsecondary education. He is also the co-author of Human Development in the Urban Community, the author of Think About Our Rights: Civil Liberties and the U.S., and an editor of Minorities in Higher Education and Race and Equity in Higher Education. Wilson previously served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Education, The Urban Review, and About Campus.

Wilson received his PhD in clinical and educational psychology from Wayne State University and was a licensed psychologist in Michigan and Washington, DC. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Wayne State University and received the Anthony Wayne Award, as well as the Distinguished Service Medal of the City of Detroit. The American Association of Higher Education also has bestowed the Harold Delaney Exemplary Leadership Award upon him.

Wilson served as one of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of Black airmen who learned to fly in the Jim Crow South at the Tuskegee Institute.



Nominations are now closed for the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award.

​​​If you have any questions about the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, please email