2 May 2024 • Alums Vincent '83 Endows Scholarship By COLIN SPENCER '19

Life-changing experience paves the way to support students. 

Hobart and William Smith provided a transformational educational experience for President of Talladega College and former HWS president Gregory J. Vincent ’83. Through a new endowed scholarship, Vincent is ensuring that students today and in the future will have that same experience.

“Hobart and William Smith invests in people,” says Vincent. “It did that for me and I want to pay it forward and help do that for others. I don’t want cost to prevent that right student from coming here.”

The $150,000 Dr. Gregory J. Vincent Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a rising senior who was recognized as an Alger Adams Scholar in their junior year or is a first generation student. Alger Adams Scholars are students of color who have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. 

The scholarship will receive a 50 percent match through the Anderton Impact Challenge for Scholarship and Financial Aid. To reach its $3 million goal, the Anderton Challenge offers a 50 percent match to alums and friends 60 years and older who join the Wheeler Society with a planned gift of $100,000 or more.

Vincent grew up in New York City, a grandson of Carribbean immigrants and son of first generation college graduates, and attended the Bronx High School of Science. He made a church home at St. Phillip's Episcopal Church in Harlem, where his faith first started.

He arrived in Geneva as a young first-year at 17 years old and over the following four years built relationships on campus that would profoundly shape his future. He found friends like Michael Rawlins ’80, P’16, who not only modeled leadership but was also gracious, welcoming and “just took the time to get to know you,” says Vincent. 

Friendships with talented William Smith students who were politically engaged and who excelled academically and athletically made Vincent “a better man” and later, a “better father.”

Personal connections with his advisers, Professor Emeritus of History Walter Ralls and Professor Emeritus of Economics Christopher Gunn, helped push him forward intellectually. “They were tough in that they were exacting and always believed I could excel,” says Vincent. They would later write letters of recommendation to the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law as Vincent pursued his career as a civil rights attorney.

Vincent also established a close connection to then Hobart Dean Clarence E. Butler L.H.D. ’06. The two bonded over their Episcopalian faith, and over dinner, would discuss ethics and what it meant to be a good man. 

As a student, Vincent was a residential adviser and a member of Hobart Student Government and the Hobart cross country, track and basketball teams. Following his graduation with bachelor’s degrees in history and economics, he earned a J.D. from Ohio State and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. 

He has been a frequent contributor to Hobart and William Smith, donating to the Statesmen Athletic Association, the Annual Fund and for the renovations and expansion of the Adams Intercultural Center. Recently, he presented the inaugural Dr. Gregory J. Vincent Leadership Service Award to Delores Amponsah '25. 

Vincent is also a member of the Wheeler Society. Established at HWS in 1989, the Wheeler Society encourages those who wish to leave a lasting legacy on campus to do so through thoughtful planned giving. 

He was awarded an Alumni Citation in 2023 for his service and contributions to Hobart College. 

In April 2022, Vincent was named the 21st President of Talladega College, Alabama’s oldest private and historically black liberal arts college. An acclaimed civil rights attorney, he is a national expert on civil rights, social justice and campus culture. His work explores issues of educational equity and access, as well as diversity in higher education and engagement between communities and universities.

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Following his tenure as President of Hobart and William Smith, Vincent led Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) — the nation’s oldest, Black, Greek-lettered organization — as the 48th Grand Sire Archon (CEO and Chairman). He later served as the Executive Director of the University of Kentucky Civil Rights and Education Initiative in collaboration with the NAACP. He was also a professor at the UK Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation.

Previously, Vincent was the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community College Leadership and Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his career in education, he served as the assistant attorney general in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General.