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Tuskegee’s McNair among 2018 class of 'Women Who Shape the State'

November 05, 2018

Contact: Michael Tullier, APR, Office of Communications, Public Relations, Tuskegee University

Jonathan Porter, Dr. Lily McNair and Dr. George Roberts
Among those celebrating President McNair’s recognition at the Nov. 2
awards program was trustee and Alabama Power Company vice
president Jonathan Porter ‘95 (left) and Dr. George Roberts (right).

Tuskegee University President Lily D. McNair was among the 30 outstanding women honored on Friday, Nov. 2 for their inspiring leadership and shared desire to better the state, nation and world around them.

Now in its fourth year, the annual “Women Who Shape the State” awards — presented by This is Alabama and Birmingham magazine — honor those who help better Alabama in their cities and regions across all the industries they serve. This year’s class represents sectors of leadership in the philanthropic, educational, commercial, public service, health, nonprofit, small business and advocacy sectors.

McNair began her tenure as Tuskegee University’s eighth president — and its first female president — in July 2018. Founded in 1881, the university currently touts a student enrollment of more than 3,000 students, and is comprised of eight academic colleges and schools that collectively offer 41 bachelor’s, 16 master’s and five doctoral degrees.

A clinical psychologist by training, McNair’s higher education career has included academic and administrative appointments at Wagner College, Spelman College, the University of Georgia, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

McNair is married to Dr. George W. Roberts, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together they have two adult children: Randall Roberts and Marguerite Roberts.

For additional information about the Women Who Shape the State awards and a complete list of honorees, visit

Note: thanks to Jessica Sawyer of Birmingham magazine for providing content for this story.

© 2018, Tuskegee University