President Gregory J. Vincent ’83
President Gregory J. Vincent '83
The President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Dr. Gregory J. Vincent ’83 is a national expert on civil rights, social justice and campus culture. Vincent has devoted his career to equity and justice, both in education and in the wider public arena. His scholarship and teaching explore issues of educational equity and access, as well as diversity in higher education, engagement and partnerships between communities and universities, and workplace discrimination.
Prior to joining HWS as president in 2017, Vincent served at The University of Texas at Austin as vice president for diversity and community engagement, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community College Leadership and Professor of Law. At UT-Austin, he presided over the university’s division of diversity and community engagement, now regarded as a national model. In 2016, Vincent played a major role in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, in which the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the use of affirmative action in higher education.
As Ohio’s assistant attorney general in the early 1990s, Vincent successfully argued several major civil rights cases before that state’s Supreme Court. He went on to serve as director for regional and legal affairs at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in Cleveland and later as vice president and lead counsel for Bank One.
President Gregory J. Vincent '83 speaks to Lucile Mallard L.H.D.’15, President of the Geneva NAACP chapter (left), Niame Traore '18 (right) and first-year students during Orientation Day of Service. The NAACP and the Geneva City School District distributed school supplies to local children on Exchange Street.
His return to education began with an appointment as assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was then named vice provost for academic affairs and campus diversity and law professor at Louisiana State University, and then vice provost for institutional equity and diversity and law professor at the University of Oregon.
Vincent has served as board chair for many nonprofit and community organizations including the Austin Area Urban League and Communities in Schools, and as former senior warden of St. James’ Episcopal Church. He completed a term as chair and president of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and was then elected to its executive board.
Vincent is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., serving as national chair of the Commission on Racial Justice. He is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) where he serves as the Grand Sire Archon-Elect (President-Elect). He has been a member of Moritz College of Law National Council since 2008.
HWS President Gregory J. Vincent '83 and his wife Kim Wilson Vincent.
For his service and community engagement, Vincent has 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.” In recognition of his leadership, the City of Austin made June 13, 2017 Dr. Gregory J. Vincent Day.
A Statesman on both the Hobart basketball and cross-country teams, Vincent majored in history and economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He earned his law degree from Ohio State University and a doctorate from The University of Pennsylvania. He served as the keynote speaker for HWS’s Convocation ceremony in 2016.