Keynote Speaker, Dr. Phillip Clay

Dr. Phillip clayWilliston Alum, Former MIT Chancellor to Speak at UNC Wilmington Annual MLK Celebration

Phillip L. Clay, a Wilmington native and the highest-ranking black administrator in the history of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will speak at the University of North Carolina Wilmington's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19 in Kenan Auditorium.

Clay is a nationally recognized authority on United States urban housing policy and community-based organizational development. He has been the principal investigator in several studies examining affordable housing, housing preservation and urban gentrification. In addition, Clay is vice president of the board of The Community Builders, one of the country's largest non-profit producers of affordable housing.

A 1964 graduate of Williston High School, Clay has a long and impressive academic history. After earning the AB degree with Honors from UNC Chapel Hill, he pursued a Ph.D. in city planning from MIT. Upon graduating in 1975, he was appointed assistant professor in the department of urban studies and planning. He became a full professor in 1992, and has served as head of the department of urban studies and planning, associate provost and assistant director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University. He was appointed MIT chancellor in July of 2001, announcing his retirement in November 2010.

Under his tenure as chancellor at MIT, more than $500 million was raised to help support future students, the number of applications for undergraduate admission doubled, financial aid evolved to reinforce MIT’s values and enrollment and diversity goals, as did graduate housing and improvements to graduate student life.

A current resident of Boston, UNCW proudly welcomes home Clay - a champion for educational opportunity and fair housing access - on a day that celebrates the legacy of Dr. King.

The event is free and open to the public but advance tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at the Kenan Auditorium Box Office beginning Jan. 11. Past noted UNCW MLK speakers include acclaimed civil rights activist Bernice Johnson Reagon, Mae Jamison, the first African-American female in space, and actor Danny Glover.

Media Contact: Caroline Cropp, UNCW Media Relations Specialist – 910.962.7109

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