2021 NBCA Hall of fame Inductee – Education

Dr. Adena Williams Loston possesses more than 40 years of professional leadership experience including spearheading a national agenda for education, engaging communities in addressing economic development issues, providing organizational and institutional leadership towards workforce readiness and academic preparation.

Current Position:

Dr. Loston serves as the 14th President of St. Philip’s College our nation’s only Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution with three military base sites and four early college high schools serving more than 13,000 students. Through her strategic leadership and management oversight in 2018 St. Philip’s College received the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and the national Malcolm Baldrige Award as one of the Alamo Colleges. She has instituted the Planning Budget and Assessment Cycle, Resource Allocation Processes, President’s Academy, Department Chair Academy, Good to Great Strategic Planning Process, three Centers of Excellence; and provides oversight for $400 Million in new and renovated facilities construction.

Previous Positions:

  • Director of Education and Special Assistant for Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Chief Education Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at its Headquarters in Washington, DC where she directed policy for $1.3 Billion and was responsible for the roll out of the Educator Astronaut Program, the NASA Explorer Schools and the NASA Explorer Institutes.
  • Academically: President of San Jacinto College South, Executive Dean Valle Verde Campus and Transmountain Campus in the El Paso County Community College District; Dean Professional Programs and Dean Vocational Education, Budgets and Facilities at Santa Monica College, Associate Professor at Georgia State University and instructor and supervisor at Houston Community College. She has also taught as an adjunct instructor at Texas Southern University and University of Houston-Downtown.

Service and Commitment:

Appointee to the President’s Advisory Board for Title III Administrators; three-time appointee by U. S. Secretaries of Education to the HBCU Capital Finance Advisory Committee; serves as an Advisory Trustee for the Southwest Research Institute; member of the Presidents’ Round Table; serves on the Boards of Directors for the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Quality Texas Foundation, and the East Point Promise Zone Coordinating Council.

HBCU Support:

  • Member of Alcorn State University National Alumni Association
  • Established Tommie Lee Williams Sr. Scholarship in honor of her father at Alcorn State University
  • Established Dr. Adena Williams Loston Endowed Presidential Scholarship at St. Philip’s College a two-year HBCU
  • Established Dr. Adena Williams Loston Discretionary Scholarship Fund at St. Philip’s College

Life Time Memberships:

  • Life Member of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People
  • Life Member of the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association
  • Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Recent Publication: The Ark of My Leadership Experiences.

Awards and Recognitions:

She is a member of the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame; some of her recognitions include: 2021 UNCF Excellence in Education Award, Educational Trailblazer, Named One of the Top 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021, Alcorn’s Women of Courage Award. 2020 After School All Star Award, Higher Education Legacy Award and Leadership Legends Award. 2019 Les Dames d’Escoffier Legacy Award, Heart of Care Award, Euretta K. Fairchild Lifetime Community Leadership Award and Essential Leader Award. 2018 Dr. Loston received the NAACP Silver Lifetime Membership Award, Audrey Lawson Impact Women’s Guild Award and the Healthy Futures’ Dr. Janet Realini Trailblazer Award. 2017 the “Holy Woman: Celebrating a Saint” Award from the Artemisia Bowden Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians; the Community Builder Award from the Masons of Alamo Lodge #44; the Emerging Leader Award, the Trusted Leader Award and the ALAS Leadership Excellence Award. In 2016 the Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership Excellence in Education Award; the Verna Lee Booker Hightower Award from the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Black Heritage Committee; the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Humanitarian Award from the United Communities of San Antonio and the Unsung SHEro by the New Creation Christian Fellowship Church.

2014 the Texas Diversity Council DiversityFIRST ™ Award; the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce Euretta K Fairchild Community Leadership Award (2019 and 2014) and the Community Legend in Higher Education Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. 2013 she received the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce Comet Award, the YWCA Women of Influence Award and the MLK Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2012, the Top Ladies of Distinction National Humanitarian Award. She is twice the recipient of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Shirley B. Gordon International Presidential Award of Distinction (2011 & 1999); a 2008 inductee into the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Educator’s Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the 2007 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exceptional Achievement Award, the 2005 NASA Headquarters’ Exceptional Achievement Award, Group Achievement Awards for the Educator Astronaut Program, Centennial of Flight Team and NASA Explorer Schools Program and NASA’s 2004 Outstanding Leadership Award.

Academic Preparation:

Bachelor’s Degree from Alcorn State University 1973 and received her masters and doctoral degrees from Bowling Green State University 1974 and 1979. Attended the Leadership Journey at Wharton Business School 2005; and received certificates from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard 1996; the Oxford Round Table, Oxford University 2001; Masters Leadership Program 2009 and received an honorary Doctorate of Science Degree from Wiley University 2005.

She is the mother of one son, Gilbert Williams Loston, III