Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Ph.D ’83

Born in Chicago to Dolores & Robert Howard, Dr. Howard-Vital earned her BA & MA from the University of Chicago, and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Starting as an English instructor and director of College Without Walls at Central YMCA College, Dr. Howard-Vital proclaimed about her love of education, "I cannot believe they pay me so much–($10k/yr)–to have so much fun!" Dr. Howard-Vital served over 30 years as a leader in education, including: Dean of Continuing Educ, Harold Washington College; Dean of Continuing Educ. & Non-Traditional Programs, Chicago State Univ.; Dean of Univ. College & Assoc. VP for Academic Programs, Edinboro Univ. of PA; Vice Chancellor for Public Service & Continuing Studies/Professor of Specialty Studies, UNC Wilmington; Assoc. VP for Academic Affairs, UNC General Admin; Interim Chancellor, Winston Salem State Univ; President, Cheyney Univ; Interim President, FL Memorial Univ. Her recognitions include: the Bethune Women Cultivating Women Award, the Ass'n of Black Women in Higher Educ Award for Leadership, Univ of Chicago's Outstanding Graduate, and Univ of IL's Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Howard-Vital loved students and firmly believed in the transformative power of education for individuals and for the country. "We need educators and critical thinkers now more than ever–from ALL segments of society–if we hope to compete successfully as world leaders." She leaves husband, Geri Vital, daughter, Madelyn Vital, stepson, Gabriel Priester, siblings, Felicia Howard-Spalding & David Howard, and a lifetime of many cherished relatives, friends and colleagues. Instead of flowers, the family asks for contributions in her name to scholarships at an institution where she worked.