Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips
Artist: Donna L. Woodley
Location: Kirkland Hall
Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips was the first African American woman to receive an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University when she graduated with a bachelor of arts in chemistry in 1967. She earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1974. Phillips went on to a highly esteemed career at Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, and at the Waters Corporation, an analytical laboratory instrument manufacturing company in Milford, Massachusetts, where she became a global director. A member of the American Chemical Society since 1973, she was elected to its board of directors in 2013 and continues to serve as a director-at-large. In 2007, Vanderbilt established the Dr. Dorothy Wingfield Phillips Award for Leadership, presented to a graduating African American senior in recognition of the recipient’s outstanding accomplishments. Vanderbilt honored Phillips in 2017 by creating two Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor Faculty Fellowships to support mid-career faculty members who are leaders in diversity in STEM at Vanderbilt. Additionally, Vanderbilt athletics recognized her, among other civil rights leaders, during the 2017 Equality Weekend.
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