West Virginia State University President Emeritus
Tennessee State University Alumnus


West Virginia State President Emeritus Dr. Hazo W. Carter, Jr. grew up on the campus of Tennessee State University, where his parents Hazo Sr. and Elizabeth Forbes Carter both worked. As a student at Tennessee State, the younger Carter worked hard to avoid taking his mother’s class as well as the class of his godfather Dr. McDonald Williams. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1968 he received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana the following years.

After earning a doctorate of education from Vanderbilt University in 1975, he began his administrative career began at Norfolk State University under Harrison B. Wilson, whose mentorship guided him to the presidency of Philander Smith College. While in Norfolk, Carter met and fell head over heels for Judge Phyllis Harden Carter, with whom he’d share a thirty-two year marriage and their daughter Angela. When Dr. Carter began his 25-year tenure as ninth president of the then West Virginia State College in 1987, Angela became a campus kid, as was her father before her. Desegregation rapidly and drastically changed the demographics of West Virginia State’s student body. Balancing serving a predominately white, commuter and older student body and preserving the school’s historic mission was not easy. Even so, President Carter successfully led a 12-year quest to regain the institution’s 1890 land-grant status. His many other credits include the founding of the Business, Industry and Education Cluster Program and the establishment of the National Center for Human Relations with his wife in 1999. Before retiring in 2012, raising of the institution to university status was among his most cherished and enduring accomplishments.

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