Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THINK BIG: Dr. William U. Latham

Black History Month at Tennessee State University

THINK BIG: Dr. William U. Latham

*Tennessee State University celebrates Black History Month by recognizing individuals or organizations that have made noteworthy contributions to University’s history and are taking the “Think Big, TSU BIG!” approach to their areas of study and expertise while impacting the campus, community and beyond.

Perhaps when Justice Thurgood Marshall envisioned his legacy as one that prepared a generation of new leaders, he had Tennessee State University’s Dr. William U. Latham in mind. Latham has been selected by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) as a 2010 Community Leadership Award recipient.

As associate director of the University’s honors program, Latham has been busy prepping high-achieving students to take on the world through global leadership. He placed the first of three undergraduate TSU students into careers on Wall Street directly after graduation, raised $130,000 through two fundraising initiatives for the Honors Program, evolved the program’s curriculum into a rigorous four-course model patterned after the academic program at Harvard University’s Business School and designed an annual Student Leadership Conference that helps students learn how to approach their careers from a global perspective.

Latham believes that his greatest deeds are seen through the success of our students. “I think I have impacted the TSU culture by helping students to leave the University with a different view of the world than what they came in with. I help them adopt the belief that there is no box and that they can fulfill dreams that were initially beyond their capacity,” said Latham, who sends students to intern with companies, including Merrill Lynch, Cummins Filtration, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and SmithBarney. “TSU has inspired me to think big through the legacy of leadership established by the faculty and staff. I try to sow seeds into student’s lives that are long-lasting beyond their matriculation,” he added. 

That level of leadership earned Latham recognition by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TCMF will host an annual awards reception to honor Latham and others on Monday, March 8 in the TSU Ferrell-Westbrook Agriculture Research Extension Facility.

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