Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:31
Alan Byrd, Dean of Enrollment Services at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), and Allison Williams, Senior Vice President-Programs at Wyman, were announced today as the new co-chairs of St. Louis Graduates.
Byrd and Williams will transition into the co-chair role over the next two months. Founders Jane Donahue, President of St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, and Faith Sandler, Executive Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, continue as active members of the St. Louis Graduates Steering Committee.
“St. Louis Graduates exists because of the vision and tireless commitment to students of Jane Donahue and Faith Sandler which has led to unprecedented regional collaboration in support of students. Alan and Allison will sustain that focus on students while building a regional advocacy voice,” said St. Louis Graduates Steering Committee member Kathy Reeves, Corporate Community Relations Director at Enterprise Holdings, who, with Cynthia Crim, Foundation Program Manager at Commerce Bank, led the nominating process that identified Byrd and Williams.
As the leader of undergraduate recruitment initiatives at UMSL, Byrd works daily with students who are first in their families to attend college and face significant financial obstacles to get there. At Wyman, Williams oversees implementation of Wyman’s Teen Leadership Program and Teen Outreach Program which build teen confidence, resilience and leadership skills in schools and community organizations locally and across the U.S.
“College and universities cannot work in isolation,” said Byrd. “We need the shared commitment of business and community leaders to ensure our neediest students have the support to not only enroll in college, but graduate.”
“Low-income and African American students face significant barriers to graduation – financial, academic, social-emotional, and cultural. Collaborating with the Chamber, business and higher education strengthens our voice in advocating for state and institutional policies that support students and keeps them on the path to a degree,” added Williams.
Byrd holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, both from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership at UMSL. Williams holds a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and a Master’s degree from Boston College, both in Social Work.