Press Release: Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni Bernard and Shirley Kinsey will receive the 2013 Legends Award during the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando during Labor Day Weekend.
“We feel honored to be a part of the Legends Awards during the MEAC/SWAC weekend,” said Bernard Kinsey. “We are delighted to be recognized with such an esteemed group of honorees, and we applaud ESPN for their work with historically black colleges and universities.”
Shirley grew up in St. Augustine, Fla. where her paternal grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler, raised her to live a life of service to others. Shirley was valedictorian of her graduating high school class, and awarded a scholarship to attend FAMU, where she joined Delta Sigma Theta, Beta Alpha Chapter in 1965. Early on, Shirley embodied the mantra, “to whom much is given, much is required.” She became a student activist in the Civil Rights Movement throughout her college experience and went on to careers in both education and Corporate America. Shirley received her bachelor’s degree in education from FAMU and master’s degree in multi-cultural education from Pepperdine University.
Bernard is president and founder of KBK Enterprises, Inc., a management consulting firm with extensive experience and success providing advice and counsel to senior-level executives. Previously, he served as a top-level executive with the Xerox Corporation for 20 years and was a pioneer in breaking down racial barriers in corporate America. His leadership of the Xerox Black Employees Association led to the hiring of thousands of black employees, women and Latinos and is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Bernard is a past president on the FAMU National Alumni Association. During his tenure he quadrupled life membership and created the first national alumni convention, which continues annually today.
During their 46-year marriage, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have raised more than $11 million for FAMU and $7 million for the United Way. For the past seven years, they also have focused their attention on The Kinsey Collection, their national touring museum exhibit of African American art and history dating back to 1600. The collection has been viewed by over 3 million visitors, was on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC and is currently on national tour in part with Wells Fargo. A portion of the exhibit is also on display in the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot in Orlando through 2016. The Kinsey Collection book was adopted by the Florida Department of Education for African-American curriculum to be taught to students in grades K-12 statewide.
The Legends Award was established in 2009 to pay tribute to extraordinary alumni who have used their respective MEAC and SWAC university education to bring excellence to their professional achievements and/or community service endeavors (local, state, national or global). The Legends Awards were established to honor dedicated alumni who, through exceptional service to their respective university, have helped to advance the institution’s mission and goals. Legends Award recipients are representative of the rich diversity of MEAC and SWAC universities, and they inspire others. Through their enduring commitment to excellence, integrity, civility, diversity and service, they serve as stellar examples for future graduates of MEAC and SWAC institutions.
Additional members of the 2013 class of award recipients includes David “Deacon” Jones, representing South Carolina State University and Mississippi Valley State University; Chuck Maldonado, representing North Carolina A&T State University; Charlie Neal, representing Villanova University; Lucille O’Neal, representing Bethune-Cookman University; and Willie Totten, representing Mississippi Valley State University.
For more information, visit http://espnevents.com/meac-swac/awards/bernard-shirley-kinsey/. For more information on the Kinsey Collection, visit www.thekinseycollection.com.