Wilbur Parker Award

Presented by the Black Graduate Business Association

The Wilbur Parker Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes African-American alumni who demonstrate outstanding professional achievement and commitment to their community, and who embody Johnson’s shared values of mutual respect, collaboration, integrity and trust, pride and accountability, professionalism, and investment in self.

Wilbur Parker ’50, MBA ’50, was Cornell’s first African-American MBA Graduate and inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johnson’s Black Graduate Business Association, which was subsequently named in his honor. Mr. Parker spent his career working to make a difference combating racial injustice and helping others. A World War II veteran, he was one of the U.S. Army Air Force’s famed Tuskegee Airmen. In 1954, he became the first black CPA in the state of New Jersey, and went on from there to break new ground in his hometown of Newark as the city’s first African-American budget director in 1962, then the first African-American secretary of its Board of Education in 1970. Parker marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Washington, D.C., central mall in 1963. 

Award Recipients

  • 2014: Percy Allen II, MPA ’75
  • 2013: DeVerges Booker Jones '74
  • 2012: Maynard Brown '76, MBA '83
  • 2011: Angela Noble-Grange, MBA '94
  • 2010: Joseph T. Wilson Jr., MBA ’86
  • 2009: Jeffery J. Weaver '86, MBA '90
  • 2008: Felix Rouse, MBA '03
  • 2007: Angela Mwanza, MBA '00
  • 2006: Laura Wilkinson MBA '85, JD '86
  • 2005: Earle L. Bradford Jr., MBA ’71
  • 2004: John Clark Sr., MBA ’72
  • 2003 – Inaugural Recipient and Namesake: Wilbur Parker ’50, MBA '50

To nominate an alumna or alumnus for the Wilbur Parker Distinguished Alumni Award, please fill out the online nomination form.