Russ Wigginton

These workers’ backs were, in fact, against the wall.”

Russ Wigginton, Ph.D., is vice president for college relations at Rhodes College. In his role, Wigginton oversees college grants, foundations and government relations, communications, alumni relations and the Merman Center for Lifelong Learning. Previously he was a professor in the History Department at Rhodes from 1996-2004, specializing in African-American and community history. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Rhodes College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of “The Strange Career of the Black Athlete: African-Americans and Sports” (Greenwood Press, 2006) as well as articles and essays on African-American social history. “We have moments of frustration and moments of conflict across all sorts of lines,” Mr. Wigginton says. “But there is a desire in our city now for people to say… we need to bury the hatchet to some degree. We need to dialogue. We need to experiment.”