Bill Purcell, JD
Former Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee
Attorney at Law, Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC
Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in law, public service, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (1999-2007) the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent, and the development and preservation of more than 26,000 affordable housing units. He was elected to his second term as mayor by a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote. Purcell's accomplishments as a civic leader earned him Public Official of the Year honors in 2006 by Governing Magazine. During his tenure Nashville was ranked as the number one city for corporate headquarters and twice ranked as the hottest city in America for expansion and relocation of business.
Following his service as mayor, Purcell was a Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow in 2007. He then served as Founding and Interim Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University before returning to the Institute of Politics as Director (2008 - 2010), and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In December 2009, Purcell was appointed by Harvard University President Drew Faust as co-chair of the Work Team for Allston and served as Special Advisor on Allston. In these roles, he recommended strategies for achieving a cohesive academic and learning campus environment situated in the Allston neighborhood of Boston adjacent to Cambridge. A decade earlier he was founder and director of the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt University (1996-99), a nationally-recognized center building a bridge between academic research, politics, and best practices to benefit children and their families. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Vanderbilt University (appointed 2012).
Purcell was elected to five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1986-96), serving as Majority Leader (1990-96). During his decade in the General Assembly he sponsored and passed legislation undertaking major reforms in Tennessee's schools, courtrooms, industrial plants and boardrooms, criminal and juvenile justice, hospitals, and voting booths. He served as Chair of the House Rules Committee, Committee on Open Records, and the Select Joint Committee on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Judiciary, General Welfare, Finance Ways and Means, and Ethics Committees. During his service Tennessee was twice ranked the best managed state in America.
Having represented clients in all of the trial courts of Nashville as well as the federal and state appellate courts, Purcell has been an active participant in the work of the bar. He served as a member of the Commission on the Future of the Tennessee Judicial System, the Tennessee IOLTA Grant Review Committee, and the Board of the Nashville Bar Association, and is a Fellow of both the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Foundations. He has been honored by the Nashville Bar Association with the John C. Tune award for outstanding contributions to his community and faithful service as a member of the bar (2006).
He earned his bachelor's degree at Hamilton College and his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was honored as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus.
Julianne Malveaux, PhD
Economist, Author, Commentator and Public Activist
President Emerita, Bennett College for Women
Dr. Malveaux has long been recognized for her progressive and insightful observations. She is a labor economist, noted author, and colorful commentator. Julianne Malveaux has been described by Dr. Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.” Her contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts are shaping public opinion in 21st century America.
Dr. Malveaux’s popular writing has appeared in USA Today, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ms. Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the Progressive. Her weekly columns appeared for more than a decade (1990-2003) in newspapers across the country including the Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Observer, New Orleans Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and San Francisco Examiner. She has hosted television and radio programs, and appeared widely as a commentator on networks, including CNN, BET, PBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, C-SPAN and others.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux has been a contributor to academic life since receiving her Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1980. She has been on the faculty or visiting faculty of the New School for Social Research, San Francisco State University, the University of California (Berkeley), College of Notre Dame (San Mateo, California), Michigan State University and Howard University. She holds honorary degrees from Sojourner Douglas College (Baltimore, Maryland), Marygrove College (Detroit, Michigan), University of the District of Columbia, and Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina). She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at Boston College.
During her time as the 15th President of Bennett College for Women, Dr. Julianne Malveaux was the architect of exciting and innovative transformation at America’s oldest historically black college for women. Under her leadership, the administration identified four key focus areas: women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, excellence in communications, and global awareness. In the five short years of her presidency, Bennett College successfully received a 10-year reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, markedly improved existing facilities, embarked on a $21 million capital improvements program – which marked the first major campus construction in more than 25 years – and in fall 2009 enjoyed an historic enrollment high.
Currently, Dr. Malveaux is the Honorary Co-Chair of the Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute as well as The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, DC. A native San Franciscan, she is the President and owner of Economic Education, a 501(c)3 non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C.