N.C. A&T Alumnus Deese ’77 Named to Blue Cross NC Board

By Staff Report / 04/29/2022 Alumni, College of Business and Economics

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 29, 2022) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced Willie A. Deese ’77 as the newest member of its board of trustees. The Blue Cross NC board consists of community leaders across North Carolina with varied backgrounds in health care, education, business and finance.

“Willie’s local North Carolina roots combined with his history of global operational excellence brings a unique perspective to our company,” said Ned Curran Blue Cross NC board chair. “As we continue to sharpen our focus on improving health outcomes for all, Deese’s demonstrated leadership and impressive skillset will be of tremendous value for our customers and communities.”

Deese, for whom the university’s Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics is named, earned his B.S. in business administration from at N.C. A&T and MBA from Western New England College in 1982. He led a 40-year career in the pharmaceutical and computer industries before retiring in 2016 as executive vice president of manufacturing at Merck and Co. Inc.

One of four people affiliated with A&T to have been appointed this year to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by President Biden, Deese serves as board member for Dentsply Sirona Inc., CDK Global Inc., PSEG Inc. and G1 Therapeutics Inc. In addition to his committee roles, Deese has served on the audit committee for each company.

He is recognized for his expertise in manufacturing and supply chain management, as well as his insights in culture management, including environmental and sustainability practices, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies and leadership development. He believes that providing more equitable resources and opportunities for all leads to more positive outcomes and a greater impact on our communities.

Deese received an honorary doctorate in business from A&T and was one of the first three recipients of the Chancellor’s Legacy Award in April 2016. He also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Davidson College in May 2021.

A&T’s Student Center Ballroom bears Deese’s name, while its clock tower at the center of campus is named for him and his wife, Carol Chalmers Deese.

Deese has served on the university’s Board of Trustees and the Deese College’s Executive Advisory Council, including terms as chairman for each.

Deese also has donated about $10 million to his alma mater and served as co-chair of its eight-year Campaign for North Carolina A&T, which generated $181.4 million by Dec. 31, 2020, and is believed to be the largest amount ever raised by a public HBCU.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

All News