(Fayette County 1936 – ) A Lexington native, Doris Wilkinson was the first African American student to graduate from the University of Kentucky following the Brown v. Board of Education decision, as a member of the historic pioneering class of 1954 to graduate in 1957 after 3 ½ years. Wilkinson continued her education and earned her doctorate in sociology at Case Western Reserve University. She returned to Kentucky and became the first full time African American female faculty member at the University of Kentucky. During her tenure at the University of Kentucky, Wilkinson became the founder and first director of “Black Studies” renaming it the African American Studies and Research Program. She also created the African American Heritage Trail in Lexington, founded the Forum for Black Faculty and the Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series, and the Black Women’s Conference. Throughout her career she has served as president of three professional organizations; the District of Columbia Sociological Society, Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Eastern Sociological Society, an honor bestowed upon only a few women social scientists. Wilkinson has published numerous research articles and critical essays on race and gender. As a result of her extensive publications on race relations, her profound professional and community service, Wilkinson has received many honors including the American Sociological Association’s Dubois-Johnson Frazier Award, a Ford Fellowship to Harvard, and the University of Kentucky’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni Award. Doris Wilkinson continues to teach at the University of Kentucky where her determination and influence are shown through her research and students.