Story by Brother Maeco Rainey
Brother Wayne D. Watson (Sigma Omega ’13) has created an academic legacy that very few can match or emulate. As the longest serving African-American Administrator in High Education within the State of Illinois, the success and growth of Chicago’s City College structure can be closely associated with Brother Watson’s uncompromising leadership and high expectations for post- secondary learning. Brother Watson earned his Associates Degree from Joliet Junior College, Bachelor’s Degree in Health/Physical Education & Recreation, Master of Arts and Teaching, and Doctorate in Higher Education Administration all from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In fact, he is the 1st African-American male to earn a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in High Education.
Among Brother Watson’s accomplishments and achievements, he served as The Chancellor of Chicago’s Community Colleges from 1998 to 2009. (Malcolm X, Kennedy King, Olive Harvey, Truman College, Harold Washington College, etc..) In addition, Brother Watson was recognized by the Higher Learning Commission in a 10 year re-accreditation, which is a top seal of approval within the higher education platform. Brother Watson’s reform agenda streamlined operations, enhanced academic standards, increased accountability and transparency, and revived the communities pursuits for post-secondary education.
Brother Watson concluded his professional career as President of Chicago State University, in which he provided the transformational leadership style that enabled Chicago State University to make significant progress in the areas of academics, athletics, and administrative capacity. Brother Watson has no plans on slowing down, as the one time Olympic finalist heads into his much deserved retirement years with energy and enthusiasm preserved for his grandchildren, family, and friends. If you really want to know the caliber of leader and the impact that Brother Watson left upon Higher Education, just ask any of the 1.5 million students and the 197,000 people with degrees and certificates earned while under Brother Watson’s leadership.
According to the Omega Psi Phi Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Brother Watson is part of the only living trio consisting of a Grandfather, Father, and Son initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity that are still living. This trio consists of Brother Wade H. Watson initiated by way of Psi Phi Chapter in 1940, Brother Wayne D. Watson initiated by way of Sigma Omega in 2013, and Brother Wade F. Watson initiated by way of
Sigma Omega in 2013.