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David Wilson, 2023 Prize Winner

Higher Education
President, Morgan State University

The McGraw Prize hallmarks of innovation, impact, and leadership have defined Dr. David Wilson’s distinguished career. During his three decades in higher education, he has emerged as a leader among university presidents nationwide as well as a vigorous advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their vital role in nurturing leaders and addressing community needs. Dr. Wilson’s transformational leadership as president of Morgan State University has propelled the Baltimore-based HBCU to new heights. Even as many universities struggle to support Black students through to graduation, Dr. Wilson has overseen a dramatic increase in graduation rates by adopting data-driven initiatives. He was a trailblazer among HBCU leaders in using predictive analytics to identify students at risk of dropping out. And he extensively revamped Morgan State’s advising model to head off problems early on. Notably, he is also recognized for his efforts to engage with adult learners in the local community and grant college credit for their prior learning experiences. As a global ambassador for HBCUs, Dr. Wilson’s leadership extends far beyond the campus of Morgan State University. He is the former chairman of the HBCU/China Network and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

Last updated September 27, 2023