In February, while addressing civic concerns with community leaders and local students in Akron, Ohio, President Gregory J. Vincent ’83 will be inducted to Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.
“Dr. Vincent represents the best elements of ODK, from his scholarship to his integrity to his character — and definitely his service,” says Alex DeJarnett, retention coordinator of Choose Ohio First and Pipeline Initiatives at the University of Akron, who nominated Vincent for induction. “In his body of work, his position at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, his consistency addressing critical social needs, he represents what we look for, as the nation’s oldest honors society based on leadership.”
ODK was founded at Washington and Lee University in 1914 to recognize distinguished leaders in academia and today sponsors active chapters across the nation.
Vincent’s induction coincides with his talks at community- and university-sponsored forums in Akron. On Friday, Feb.16, he will deliver an afternoon talk titled “Memory and Monuments in the Public Space” to the Akron Roundtable, which brings speakers to the city to explore local, national and international concerns with audiences of men, women, and selected high school students.
Founded in 1976 as a “community forum to encourage and bring bold, creative and new ideas to the region,” the Akron Roundtable has invited hundreds of leaders in business, government, civic and educational institutions and the arts to share their expertise with the Akron community. Vincent’s talk to the group will subsequently be broadcasted on WKSU 89.7 FM at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23.
In a continuation of the Akron Roundtable, Vincent will also serve as the closing keynote speaker for the Rethinking Race forum at the University of Akron, held at 6 p.m., also on Friday, Feb. 16. His presentation, “Charlottesville: The Call for a More Civil Society,” bookends the forum on race and race-related issues, which incorporates films, performances, “Face-2-Face Conversations” and keynote speakers to engage the public with important topics such as diversity in the workplace and awareness of issues and culture.
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 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.