Dr. Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, president emerita of Kalamazoo College, retired in July 2016 after serving eleven years as president. She has extensive leadership and governance experience in higher education, having previously served as vice president and dean of the college at Salem College (North Carolina) and held teaching and high level administrative positions at Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.
During her tenure at Kalamazoo, she led the most successful fundraising campaign in the college’s history to support scholarships, endowed professorships, capital projects, and the creation of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Under her leadership, the institution heightened trustee and alumni engagement, completed new construction and campus renovations, revised the curriculum, and made considerable strides toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive campus.
Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran currently serves on the advisory board of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the boards of trustees of the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, United States International University-Africa (USIU-A), and Pomona College, where she chairs the educational quality committee. She is past chair of the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents and the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Prior board service includes the Council of Independent Colleges, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the Bronson Healthcare Group, Southwest Michigan First, and United Way of Battle Creek Kalamazoo Region.
Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran obtained a BA in sociology from Pomona College and an MA and a PhD in education from the Claremont Graduate University. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work in higher education, diversity, and inclusion, including two honorary doctorates, the Gender Equity Architect Award from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Star Award from the Posse Foundation, and an American Council of Education Fellowship.