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Reginald Wilson, PhD
1927 - 2020

Reginald Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan. He served in the US Army and was one of the Tuskegee Airmen. He earned his bachelor's (1950), master's (1958), and doctoral (1971) degrees from Wayne State University. Dr. Wilson worked as a Clinical and Educational Psychologist in many roles in the Metro Detroit area, including being a teacher and psychologist in the Detroit Public School System, Director of Upward Bound at Oakland University, Dean of Oakland Community College, Professor at the University of Detroit, founder and director of the Black studies program at the University of Detroit Mercy, and president of Wayne County Community College. Dr. Wilson was also an active metro Detroit community member and served on the Executive Board of Directors for the United Way Detroit, as Chairman of the Detroit Schools Mileage campaign, as a member of the monitoring commission of Detroit School Desegregation, as a volunteer for the Community of Hope Shelter for the Homeless, as president of Detroit Educational television, member and Executive Board directors metropolitan Detroit chapter of American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of Phi Delta Kappa.


Outside of the Detroit area, Dr. Wilson served as Senior Scholar Emeritus at the American Council on Education where he served as the Director of the Office of Minority Concerns. In 2001, an award was named after Dr. Wilson called the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, that is awarded by the American Council on Education's Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity. Dr. Wilson has authored books including Think About Our Rights: Civil Liberties and the United States (1988), Human Development in the Urban Community, Institute Seminar on Desegregation in Higher Education, and the “Minorities in Higher Education Status Report,” which was the first report regarding the disparities of post-secondary education achievement of minorities in 1985.  He also served as editor of Race and Equality in Higher Education.


Dr. Wilson has been 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. He was also awarded the Outstanding Citizen award Detroit Parent-Teachers Association, and The American Association of Higher Education also bestowed the Harold Delaney Exemplary Leadership Award upon him. Learn more about Dr. Wilson’s legacy here.


McNitt, P. C., & Thornton, D. W. (1978). Depression and perceived reinforcement: A reconsideration. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87(1), 137 - 140.

Fleming, B. M., & Thornton, D. W. (1980). Coping skills training as a component in the short-term treatment of depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48(5), 652–654.

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