BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Kelley School of Business and its Full-Time MBA Program are kicking off Diversity Month with the dedication on April 9 of a new series of banners recognizing an accomplished group of alumni who have been part of the school’s history and efforts to be inclusive.
Students, faculty and staff and guests are invited to attend a ceremony via Zoom to dedicate the banners featuring successful alumni of color, including several fellows of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, which Kelley helped to create. Those being honored, or in some cases a family representative, will be invited to speak.
“We wanted to do something visible that honored our history of diversity and the legacies of some of our notable alumni,” said Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. “One long-lasting impact was our decision in the 1960s to become a founding member of The Consortium, a group of universities and corporations that came together to encourage and support Black students — at the time, only men — to pursue an MBA so that we would have more diverse leadership in our nation’s companies.
“Since then, more than 900 Consortium students – men and women representing all underrepresented populations — have graduated from our MBA program, and many have given back to the program with their experience, leadership, and financial gifts,” said Kesner, who added that others being honored on banners are notable because they were “first” in some way or served the university on a larger level.
Kesner said future sets of banners will include women and alumni from other diverse backgrounds.
The theme for MBA Diversity Week will be “Unity in Diversity.” Highlights will include an alumni panel, “Becoming a Person of Influence,” and a panel event featuring several successful businesswomen, “Uplifting the Women Around You.” Chris Gardner, entrepreneur and author of the autobiographical book, “The Pursuit of HappYness,” which was adapted into a 2006 movie starring Will Smith, will speak to Kelley Full-Time MBA students on April 16. He also is the author of the 2009 book, “Start Where You Are,” and the forthcoming book, “Permission to Dream.”
Those being honored, in alphabetical order, are:
Eddie C. Brown
Eddie C. Brown, a 1970 Kelley MBA graduate, started Brown Capital Management in Baltimore, Maryland in 1983, after serving as vice president and portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. for a decade and briefly before then at Irwin Management Group. He is the firm’s founder, chairman, CEO and senior portfolio manager.
With an electrical engineering degree from Howard University, Brown worked at defense contractor Martin Marietta before serving for two years as a Signal Corps officer in the U.S. Army. Afterward, he designed computer circuits for IBM for five years. While at IBM, he became increasingly fascinated by finance and investing and came to Kelley through the company’s management development program. Brown also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University.
A member of Kelley’s Academy of Alumni Fellows, Brown was a regular panelist for a quarter century on the national PBS financial television program “Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser,” which was popular during the 1980s and 1990s. Kelley MBA students today participate annually in the Eddie C. Brown Leadership Summit, created through his generosity.
W. Quinn Buckner
As vice president of communications for Pacers Sports and Entertainment, Quinn Buckner serves in community outreach as a longtime professional basketball television analyst and as the leader of the Pacers Youth Basketball program and the company’s initiative to support youth basketball in Indiana. He has been an analyst for numerous media outlets such as NBC, CBS and ESPN. Since 2016, he also has been a member of the IU Board of Trustees.
A 1976 business school graduate, Buckner is renowned for his basketball career that includes an NCAA championship and time as a member of the last undefeated men’s collegiate basketball team; time as captain of the 1976 gold medal–winning U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team; 10 years as an NBA player, including an NBA championship in 1984; and time as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Buckner serves on several not-for-profit boards, including the IU Foundation, Center for Leadership Development, the Pacers Foundation, the YMCA, Community Health Network Foundation, USA Basketball, the National Basketball Players Association, First Tee of Indianapolis, the Indiana Youth Institute, Special Olympics of Indiana, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir Advisory Council, and as a member of the Old National Bank Advisory Board. He is also a partner in Mack Financial, a member firm of M Financial Group, a leading financial services and distribution firm.
Robert M. Lee
A member of the inaugural class of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management at Kelley, Robert M. Lee completed his MBA in 1972 and retired in 2009 after a 39-year career as a financial analyst at IBM.
Alvin W. Marley
Alvin W. Marley enjoyed a successful career as an investment executive spanning more than four decades at several financial firms and banks, including First National Bank of Chicago, Brinson Partners and United Bank of Switzerland (which became UBS).
In 2005, Marley joined Lombardia Capital Partners LLC – one of the nation’s most successful minority-owned equity managers – as an equity partner and senior portfolio manager for small capital equities. In 2013, he was promoted to serve as chief executive officer, a position he held until 2017.
A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Marley served a captain and mathematician in the U.S. Air Force as from 1968 to 1971, before coming to Kelley as a Consortium fellow and earning an MBA in 1973. He received the Wallace L. Jones Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from the Consortium, a Kelley School of Business Academy of Alumni Fellow and a life member of the NAACP and a member of the Chicago Urban League. He established the Alvin W. Marley Consortium Fellowship to support students in the MBA program.
William G. Mays
The son of a high school teacher and a college chemistry professor, William G. Mays grew up in Evansville. He attended IU Bloomington, majoring in chemistry and receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1970. He worked briefly as a test chemist, but then decided to combine his chemical knowledge with a career in business. He returned to IU and earned an MBA in marketing and finance from Kelley in 1973.
From 1973 to 1977, Mays was assistant to the president of Cummins and played a key role in forecasting future worldwide engine demand for the Columbus, Indiana-based company. In 1977, Mays became president of Specialty Chemicals Corporation and led that company until 1980, when he founded his own chemical supply company, Mays Chemical. Within a few years, Mays Chemical reported annual sales of more than $100 million and became one of the top 20 chemical distribution companies in North America.
Mays, who passed away in 2014, was active in the community, serving as a director on the boards of several companies and community organizations. He also became owner and publisher of the Indianapolis Recorder, the state’s leading African American newspaper. His many honors include an honorary degree from IU in 2000 and the Madame C. J. Walker Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Through the Mays Family Rise Scholarships, underrepresented students at Kelley IUPUI aim to follow Mays’ footsteps into successful business careers.
Charles I. Randall
Charles I. Randall who became a member of IU’s first Consortium class after earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Morgan State University in Baltimore. He earned an MBA from Kelley in 1969 and retired from IBM in 2005 after more than 30 years in finance. He later became a teacher at a preschool for at-risk youths. He also has directed social service agencies in the New York area for those with developmental disabilities.
Since earning his MBA from Kelley in 1990, Derica Rice has spent more than 30 years as a health care executive, including a 27-year career at Eli Lilly and Co. He most recently served as the executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Caremark, the company’s pharmacy benefits management business. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Walt Disney Co., Target Corp. and Bristol Myers Squibb Co.
Rice was also a trustee of IU from 2007 to 2016, being the first African American alumnus of Kelley to do so. He serves as a founding member of the IU Black Philanthropy Circle, the university’s first affinity-based giving circle that formulates programs and policies to enhance engagement and philanthropy in higher education to support Black alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors and allies.
Earlier this year, Rice and his wife Robin Nelson-Rice made a gift of $1 million to support Kelley MBA students who are fellows of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Their gift creates the Rice Consortium Fellows program to enhance diversity and inclusion at the Kelley School and help its Full-Time MBA Program continue to attract many of the best and brightest underrepresented students. The Rices met as Consortium fellows at Kelley and graduated the same year.
Ray Weathersby, a Mississippi native, who also was a member of the inaugural class of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management at Kelley. He graduated with a Kelley MBA in 1969.
Growing up, his early education began at Zion Hill School, a one-room schoolhouse in Magee, Miss. He continued to attend schools there until he moved to Evanston, Illinois as a high school senior. He graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1963 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hampton University in Hampton, Va., four years later. He traveled to Istanbul, Turkey as an exchange student.
In the summer of 1967, he attended Washington University’s Minority Business Conference and came to IU Bloomington as a Consortium fellow. He enjoyed a long career in accounting. In his 2017 obituary, it was said that his “proudest career accomplishment was that he passed the Illinois Administrative National CPA exam.” He served in the U.S. Army as a lieutenant from 1969 and 1971 and “had an unwavering passion for history and education.”
Milton Wilson was the first African American to receive a business doctorate at IU. He was the founder of the business schools at Howard University and Texas Southern University. He was the first African American dean of a Historically Black College or University to attain AACSB accreditation and the first dean to attain AACSB Accreditation for two HBCU schools of business.
Under his leadership, Howard University became the first school of business in Washington, D.C., to attain AACSB accreditation.
The son of a Pullman car porter and a public-school teacher born in Paducah, Kentucky, he earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College and a master’s degree and two doctorates from IU. After leading the accounting department at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) and Dillard University, Wilson came to Texas Southern University in Houston to start a business program.
During his time at Texas Southern, Wilson also was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. In 1952, he became a certified public accountant, one of the first African Americans in Texas to do so. In 1970, he returned to teach at Kelley, but was invited by Howard University to establish a business school there a year later.
Howard named Wilson its dean emeritus upon his retirement in 1990. He died in 2013 at the age of 88.