Tuesday, December 1, 2015

bc_commencement_20151212_speaker_dorothy_buckhanan_wilsonColumbia, SC --- December 1, 2015 --- Ms. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), will deliver the winter commencement address during the Benedict College Commencement Exercises. The ceremony is set for 9 a.m., Saturday, December 12, 2015, in the Benjamin E. Mays Human Resources Center Arena on the main campus.

Ms. Buckhanan Wilson comes to the International President of AKA position with 36 years of committed service to the 107-year old organization of over 283,000 members, and has the distinction of being the only member to serve four consecutive terms on its international board of directors. Installed at the sorority’s national convention held in July 2014 in Charlotte, NC, she is the first Wisconsin resident and the 29th Alpha Kappa Alpha woman to be elected to the position.

Ms. Buckhanan Wilson is a longtime corporate executive in both the non-profit and for profit sectors with organizations such as Xerox, SC Johnson Wax, and Goodwill Industries. Most recently, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson was the Senior Vice President at Goodwill Industries, where she was responsible for a $25 million enterprise in southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. With more than 60,000 people served and 400 employees, she was one of the most senior officials at the largest Goodwill affiliate in the world. She also enjoyed a distinguished career with companies such as the Xerox Corporation and S.C. Johnson Wax, where she was a Marketing Executive and became the first African American and one of youngest women promoted to Brand Manager. Ms. Buckhanan Wilson holds an MBA degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated from both institutions with high honors.

As the first college graduate in her family, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson has always been a strong proponent of higher education. She has established two endowed scholarships: The Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Endowment for Students in Business through the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation and the Lucious and Sallie Wilson Endowed Scholarship for Students in Elementary Education—named for her grandparents, at Benedict College in South Carolina, her alma mater.

Ms. Buckhanan Wilson’s professional excellence and notable leadership acumen have been recognized with a “Leading Change Award,” “Outstanding Milwaukee Non-Profit Executive Award” and “40 Business Leaders Under 40 Award.” She has been commended with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for service to Milwaukee-area residents and was also recently honored by the South Carolina Legislature for her outstanding professional and community service.

Ms. Buckhanan Wilson is a Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She was the chartering president for Upsilon Mu Omega Chapter in Milwaukee, and later organized the chapter’s Diamond Jubilee Pearls Foundation.

Her service to Alpha Kappa Alpha includes serving as chapter president, Central Region Cluster Coordinator and Central Regional Director on the local and regional levels, and as International Secretary and International First Vice President, making her one of the longest-serving international officers on the sorority's International Board of Directors. Additionally, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson has also served as a member of the International Program Committee, International Constitution Committee, and Chairman of the International Rules Committee, as well as Secretary and First Vice President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Housing Foundation and Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF).

For her outstanding sorority service, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson has received proclamations and keys to over 20 cities as well as recognition as Central Region Soror of the Year, Central Region Outstanding Chapter President, and the International Founders Volunteer Service Award. At the sorority's 66th International Convention, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson was awarded the Carey B. Preston Leadership Award for distinguished community service, one of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's highest and most prestigious honors.

Outside of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Ms. Buckhanan Wilson is a member of The Links Incorporated, the National Council of Negro Women and the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., where she is a former national officer. Buckhanan Wilson lives in Milwaukee and is the dedicated and loving mother to two adult children.

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Contacts:
Kymm Hunter, Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing; 803.705.4519 hunterk@benedict.edu
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366 wigfallc@benedict.edu

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