NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Former Norfolk State University president and grandfather of NFL star Russell Wilson has died.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback remembered his 94-year-old grandfather Dr. Harrison B. Wilson on Instagram, describing him as an educator and mentor. Wilson posted: “Going to miss you Grandpa.”
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Going to miss you Grandpa. Thanks for all of the stories. This is my Grandfather whose no longer with us. Dr. Harrison B. Wilson Jr. He was an educator, a mentor, a college basketball coach, and the second President at Norfolk State University a HBCU from 1975-1997. Love you. #BeholdTheGreenandGold
News outlets report the elder Wilson was the grandson of a former slave, who instilled the idea of education in his 15 children. Wilson was a star athlete at Kentucky State University and received his master’s and doctorate from Indiana University.
Wilson was Norfolk president from 1975 to 1997, helping the school flourish academically and athletically. New graduate programs were added under his tenure and the Spartans racked up CIAA basketball and football titles.
Wilson is survived by his wife, Dr. Lucy Wilson, and daughter, April Woodard, a broadcast journalist for WTKR News 3 in Norfolk.