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Lily D. McNair ’79

Lily McNair

Lily D. McNair is Tuskegee University’s eighth president, and the first woman to hold the post. Previously she served nearly seven years as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College on New York’s Staten Island.

She also has served as associate provost of research and divisional coordinator of science and mathematics at Spellman College, where she was responsible for cultivating the institution’s research capabilities. She was an associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at the University of Georgia, where in 1999 she was the first African American woman to obtain tenure and promotion in the Department of Psychology. She also has been a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a clinical psychologist at Vassar College.

Her research as a clinical psychologist has focused on the development and evaluation of community-based interventions targeting substance abuse and early sexual behavior in African American youth. Continuing research interests are in examining the role of stress in the alcohol consumption of female college students and investigating the changes in alcohol consumption and sexual risk-taking occurring in dating couples over the course of their relationships. She is the co-editor of “Women: Images and Realities,” an introductory multicultural women’s studies textbook.

A New Jersey native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Princeton and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is married to George W. Roberts, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has two adult children, Randall and Marguerite.



Perspectives on Higher Education

Friday, October 4

Moderator: Cecilia Elena Rouse, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs, and the Katzman-Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education 

Featuring: Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83, President, Princeton University; Lily D. McNair ’79, President, Tuskegee University; and Ruth J. Simmons, President, Prairie View A&M University