Mayor of Austin, Texas, Steve Adler officially announced June 13, 2017 as Dr. Gregory J. Vincent Day, recognizing Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ incoming president, who has been a leader in the city and at the University of Texas for the past 12 years.
“Dr. Gregory J. Vincent has had a long and distinguished career in numerous capacities as an educator and university administrator,” reads Adler’s proclamation, which also cites Vincent’s distinguished work as Ohio’s assistant attorney general and his service to the Austin community.
During a June 13 farewell ceremony, Vincent, the first person to serve as UT Austin’s vice president for diversity and community engagement, was recognized for his work to champion “diversity, access and inclusion on campus and in the Austin community,” the university stated.
The farewell’s speakers and attendees included UT presidents Gregory Fenves and Bill Powers; city representatives including Adler and an Austin city council member; a Texas state representative; judges; business and community leaders; and UT students and alums, who gathered to acknowledge and thank Vincent for his impact on the university and throughout the city.
“Representatives from four black alumni groups, five fraternities and sororities and five community organizations from outside UT praised his ability to bring African-American, Asian-American, Latino and LGBT groups into the heart of the university,” the Austin-American Statesman blog reports.
In April, Vincent was named the 27th President of Hobart College and the 16th of William Smith College. A national expert on civil rights, social justice and campus culture, he served as UT-Austin’s Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community College Leadership and Professor of Law.
His extensive career is distinguished by his commitment to equity and justice. At UT Austin, he presided over the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, now regarded as a national model. Under his leadership, the division has grown to encompass a $50 million budget with more than 400 employees and 50 units, as well as 400 local and regional partners, who help connect the university’s resources to communities across the state, particularly those facing significant challenges in accessing education.
For his service and community engagement, Vincent has previously received numerous awards and recognitions, notably the Educator of the Year Award from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the Distinguished Service Award from the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Distinguished Service Award from the Moritz College of Law. The Austin NAACP and Austin Area Urban League presented Vincent with their highest honors, the DeWitty/Overton Freedom Award and the Whitney Young Legacy Award for committing himself “to raise awareness and educate the community on the importance of diversity and inclusion.”
A 1983 graduate of Hobart College, Vincent holds a law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and his doctorate from The University of Pennsylvania.
His tenure as HWS president begins on Monday, July 17.