Student goodbye to Cheryl Wilson
The University is saying their goodbyes to Cheryl Wilson, a staff member who has forever changed student life and student involvement on campus. Her professional accolades go on and on, from serving as the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership since 1999 to being published in ESSCENCE Magazine. In between she has led legendary organizations and initiatives, such as the Black Alumnae Network, and created a one-of-a kind Jazz and Java Multicultural Poetry Night. However, this is only a small dose of what she has accomplished and created at the University. To me, her highest accomplishment is the impact she has left on the students, faculty and staff whom she has encountered during her many years at the University (she graduated from Douglass College in 1990, so that already gives you an idea of what kind of person she is).
For those of you who are not familiar with Wilson, she is like the on-campus mom for the multicultural community. Not only did she make sure we made smart moves with planning events and spending money, but she invested time in making sure we were doing the right thing in our own lives — in school and outside of school. She was not a professor in a classroom, but she is one of the most valuable teachers that I have in my life and the type of teacher that everyone needs. She always tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. She gives you extra avenues to consider when you swear you have got everything all mapped out. She tells you to keep calm and take the high road when all you want to go is go "H.A.M." She drops knowledge in every day conversation that leaves you thinking. You go in her office to discuss an event, and you leave thinking about something much larger than yourself, something that impacts more than just yourself and your neighbors. That’s the kind of impact Wilson had on all of us.
She was not only a mentor to us, but to other faculty and staff as well. Her willingness to help others and put the needs of all of us before herself shows how much she truly loves and cares about her students and colleagues. Her spirit screams majesty, maturity, self-assurance, self-confidence, spiritual alignment and faith in the future — all qualities that I hope to embody when I grow up. Wilson is truly one of my role models, and I am so grateful to be able to call her a mentor in my life. I know she only wants the best for me and the hundreds and hundreds of other students she has invested in over her career.
My only hope for Wilson is that she continues to go on and fulfill her purpose in life by speaking to the lives of young people. We need that, especially in today’s day.
"We need people like you, Ms. Wilson! On behalf of every student you have ever helped here at the University …Thank you for everything Ms. Wilson, thank you."