Dean Stith named inaugural inductee to PhD Project Hall of Fame


Whitman Dean Melvin T. Stith ’73 MBA ,’77 Ph.D., is an inaugural inductee into the newly established PhD Project Hall of Fame. The PhD Project is an award-winning program that aims to increase diversity in management.

Hall of Fame inaugural inductees will be honored at the organization’s annual conference in November. Starting in 2012, a new class of inductees will be selected annually, with supporters of the PhD Project and the public invited to submit nominations for each year’s class

The PhD Project established the Hall of Fame to recognize a select few who have inspired many. These individuals have sustained an unwavering commitment to the project’s mission and their positive leadership has resulted in significant encouragement and impact within the project’s network of minority business doctoral students and faculty. These doctoral students and faculty are role models and mentors attracting minority students to the study of business, thereby enhancing the talent pool available to corporate America.

“We are pleased to present the first inductees to the PhD Project Hall of Fame. Since our inception, these individuals have served the project as presenters, mentors and advisers,” says Bernard J. Milano, president of the PhD Project and the KPMG Foundation, founder and lead funder of the project. “They have put forth great effort to create diversity in academia and through that, the business world.”

“I am honored to be inducted to the PhD Project Hall of Fame and look forward to continued work with the project in addressing the severe under-representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in management and business school faculty,” says Stith.

The PhD Project was created in 1994 to address the idea that a diverse faculty encourages more minorities to pursue business degrees, thereby increasing the pool of minority applicants for positions in today’s multicultural corporate environment. Since its inception, the project has worked to increase the number of African American, Hispanic American and Native American business professors from 294 to 1,113.

Some of America’s top companies and academic organizations support the project, including the KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International, 250+ participating universities, AICPA Foundation, Diversity Inc., JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Goldman Sachs Group, the Merck Company Foundation, Microsoft Corp., Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Rockwell Collins, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., ACT-1 Group, American Marketing Association, AT&T, John Deere Foundation, Dow Chemical Co., CIGNA, ADP, American Express, Motorola Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, California State University System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Western Union Foundation, Corporate Executive Board, Edison International and Lincoln Financial Group.

An alumnus of the Whitman School, Stith returned to his alma mater in Jan. 2005 to become Whitman’s 16th dean.