Rev. Walter R. Murray
Artist: Simmie Knox
Walter R. Murray, a Nashville native and founder of the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, graduated from Pearl High School in 1966. He and Perry Wallace, his best friend, were among the university’s first African American undergraduate students. He was elected vice president of the Student Government Association and was a founder of the Afro-American Student Association. He became the first African American to serve on Vanderbilt University’s Board of Trust when he was elected a young alumni trustee in April 1970. After graduating in 1970, he worked with the Vanderbilt Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The following year, he became the university’s first opportunity development officer, with responsibilities that included developing and coordinating plans for equal opportunity employment for faculty and staff. In 1974, he earned a master of management from Vanderbilt’s school of management (named Owen Graduate School of Management in 1977) and then earned his master of divinity from Harvard University Divinity School in 1986. Murray died in 1998, and a residence hall and memorial lecture were named in his honor.
Sesquicentennial profile on Rev. Walter R. Murray