A legacy of love and service is part of family history for the Wiley College trio of grandma, Barbara Anderson-Marshall, mom, Angela Fitzpatrick and daughter, Taylor Thornton. All three women make up the first family trio to receive the prestigious Wiley College Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni awards.

In 2007, Barbara became the Wiley College Outstanding Alumni for her dedication to Wiley and Angela followed in her footsteps to become the 2021 Wiley College Outstanding Alumni. Taylor was named as the 2021 Wiley College Outstanding Young Alumni.

There has never been a mother and daughter to receive this title at the same time nor has there ever been a first, second and third generation to hold the titles since it began, according to information provided by the family.

The Wiley College Outstanding Alumni was created in 1995 and the Wiley College Outstanding Young Alumni was created in 2006. Barbara was on the committee that helped create both of the honors.

“My mom impacted a lot of lives and encouraged so many students while working with the youth in church and at Wiley College. Our drive and passion has been instilled in us to walk through paths that were created for us and make new paths for others as we continue our family’s legacy of being servant leaders,” Angela said.

In order to be nominated for the awards, the nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Contribute financially with the Wiley College National Alumni Association, Inc;
  • Make outstanding achievement in his/her professional, civic, or community activities and United Negro College Fund (UNCF);
  • Provide distinguish contributions and service to Wiley College, the Association, corporation and local club;
  • Consent and be willing to serve in role for one year after being elected.

The award was created to highlight alumni from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

“The three of us had the opportunity to attend Wiley College, the oldest HBCU West of the Mississippi. Wiley College has been a source of accomplishments for the African American community,” Angela said. “Its social good and leadership legacy is a reason we give back to Wiley in so many ways. This is one reason why we encourage other alumni and friends to give back to Wiley College to help continue growing future leaders of America.”

The Outstanding Alumni are recognized by the association, Wiley College and during the UNCF’s National Alumni Council Conference.

“My mom was so dedicated to others that UNCF decided to create the Barbara Marshall Award to the Outstanding Pre-Alumni Council of the Year during the UNCF Coronation,” Angela, 42, said about her mom, Barbara, who worked as Wiley College Alumni Director and passed away in 2007 at the age of 51. “Our family is very proud of the accomplishments we have made and is our biggest supporters.”

Another accomplishment also includes Taylor, who is 25, being crowned Miss National UNCF in 2016. She was the 13th Wiley Queen to win the title since 2000.

According to Angela, her mom was instrumental in making sure Wiley College raised enough money for scholarships to earn this title. Since then four more Miss National UNCF Queens have been crowned. The National UNCF Queen travels around the United States as an advocate for UNCF Scholarships.

“We have always been taught to do for others without expecting things in return because it is just what’s right. So when we were nominated for doing things that we cherish our hearts were overjoyed thinking of how proud my mom would be if she was still with us,” Angela said about her mom, Barbara.

The Wiley College trio are also all members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA). Professionally, Angela is the principal at David Crockett Elementary for Marshall Independent School District and Taylor works for the city of Longview with the Partners and Prevention Program and as Outreach Coordinator.

“When I think of the history we have created between three generations it makes me think of the word legacy. My mom showed my daughter and I how to be servant leaders. In her actions she showed us how to serve others, seek out opportunities to grow and work together with others for the good of our family, community and beyond,” Angela said.

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