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Dr. Carson's Bio sidebar


Dr. Donald K. Carson was born in Oneida, Tennessee. He attended the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship, receiving his undergraduate degree in History from there as well as his doctorate in Diplomacy.  After teaching Political Science and History at private and public colleges, he worked at Marshall University in West Virginia before coming to The University of Memphis (known then as Memphis State University) in 1974 as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students.  He became Vice President for Student Affairs in 1976 and from 1992 – 2002 also held the position of Vice Provost for Enrollment Services. He was Interim Athletic Director twice during his tenure at The University of Memphis, as well as having responsibility for Women’s Athletics from 1975-1980.  He also taught Political Science as an adjunct professor during most of his career.  He retired in 2003.

Dr. Carson has a national reputation in Student Affairs, receiving the Region III John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2002. He conceived and has hosted the Memphis In May Student Affairs Conference (MIMSAC) since 1988.

Dr. Carson is best known for his connections with students and his never-ending concern for their representation and well-being on campus – he never forgets a student he meets. He is a constant source of support for hundreds, thousands, of current and past students. He has been a strong advocate in paving the way for a significant minority student population on campus.


For general  information about the Donald K. Carson Leadership Scholarship please contact Mr. Danny Armitage | (901) 678-2187 | darmitag@memphis.edu.

For information on donating to the Donald K. Carson Leadership Scholarship please contact Joanna Curtis | (901) 678-5274 | jecurtis@memphis.edu.

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Last Updated: 1/20/12