Distinguished Alumni Awards
John R. Endwright Alumni Service Award
Harrison B. Wilson - 2010
Harrison B. Wilson is a native of Amsterdam, New York. He served in the United States Navy from 1945 until 1947, when he enrolled at Kentucky State University at the age of nineteen. There he received his bachelor’s degree, was an honor student and a star athlete in basketball, football, baseball and track. In the early 1950’s, he enrolled at Indiana University where he received his master’s in Physical Education and PhD in health science and administration from the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.
During those years and beyond, Dr. Wilson worked as a professor, administrator and coach at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University). Wilson was the head basketball coach from 1951 to 1960. He then became chairman of the Department of Health and Physical Education as well as chairman and professor of health and physical education at Tennessee State. Dr. Wilson briefly worked at Fisk University as the assistant to the president of Fisk before being named President of Norfolk State University in 1975.
During President Wilson's term at Norfolk, which spanned over three decades from 1975 until 1997, Norfolk State University's annual budget increased from $14 million to $86 million, enrollment increased from 6,700 students to 8,100 students, and the number of faculty and staff grew from 377 to 412, with a student-faculty ratio of twenty-two to one. The University also added fourteen new buildings and acquired fifty-one acres of land.Upon his retirement in 1997, President Wilson was honored by Old Dominion University as one of their Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership series. He has been active in a number of boards and organizations, including the board of directors of Virginia National Bank, the lay advisory board of DePaul Hospital, the Virginia State Advanced Council on Vocational Education, and the board of directors of the Virginia Health, Welfare, and Recreation Planning Council. He is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Mu fraternity.