Cape Cod Community College has announced that Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., Senior Advisor and Strategist to the President at Harvard University and the former head of President Barack Obama’s Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will serve as Commencement Speaker for the College’s 2019 graduating class on May 23, 2019 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent.
Prior to his current role at Harvard, Wilson served as the 11th President of Morehouse College, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Under his leadership, Morehouse expanded enrollment, elevated graduation rates, and expanded alumni relations. His embrace of students helped shaped the college’s future, and his creative work with Silicon Valley executive led Forbes Magazine to name Morehouse as the fifth “Most Entrepreneurial College” in 2015. Wilson also oversaw the hosting of President Obama as Morehouse’s Commencement speaker in 2013, marking the first time in the college’s history they hosted a sitting President of the United States.
Prior to his leadership of Morehouse and his role in the Obama White House, he served as Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education at George Washington University and as the Executive Dean of George Washington’s Virginia Campus. He also served for sixteen years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in various roles, ultimately as Assistant Provost and Director of Foundation Relations. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and both a Master and Doctoral degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard School of Education.
Earlier this year, Wilson served as keynote speaker for Cape Cod Community College’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Federated Church of Hyannis.