Dr. Harold Elmore Wade 2nd President of AMSC
October 18, 2023
It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you of the death of our 2nd president, Dr. Harold E. Wade.
Dr. Wade served as President of Atlanta Metropolitan College from 1994-2006 and dedicated more than four decades of his life to higher education, after a successful baseball career with the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox organizations.
It is my understanding that Dr. Wade transitioned today surrounded by his beloved family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Gwen and their entire family as well as the Trailblazer campus community during this difficult time.
Funeral arrangements are pending. We will notify the campus when updates are received.
On October 18, 2023, Dr. Harold Elmore Wade, 82, of Atlanta, GA, passed away peacefully at home with his beloved wife Gwendolyn and eldest daughter Chris by his side.
Dr. Wade, a native of Huntsville, Alabama was named the second president of Atlanta Metropolitan College, now Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC) in November 1994. Highlights of his tenure at AMSC included securing funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation to implement a program to train workers for the Centennial Olympic Games; hosting the USA men's and women's basketball teams for practice sessions during the Olympic Games; designing and completing a student center building project; maintaining and sustaining the institutional finances; and sponsoring the 30th anniversary fund raising luncheon featuring Dr. Maya Angelou.
Dr. Wade, the second of seven children, was born on September 21, 1941, to the late Robert Tillman and Ella Jane Wade in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1953, Dr. Wade moved with his family to Tuscaloosa, AL. He developed interests in sports and played football and baseball throughout his elementary and high school years. However, it was baseball that was his passion. He was determined to follow his idol, Jackie Robinson, and play in the major leagues. Dr. Wade was a versatile player and held several positions on his baseball teams. These included pitching, first-base, short-stop, and outfield.
After graduating from Druid High School in 1959, Dr. Wade accepted a baseball scholarship offer from Stillman College, and excelled both academically and athletically for each of the four years he was enrolled at the college. In 1963, Dr. Wade earned the bachelor's degree in English and realized his goal to play professional baseball. He played for both the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox organizations in their respective minor leagues. However, after suffering a career-ending ankle injury, his baseball aspirations to make it to the major leagues ended.
Seeking an alternative career path, Dr. Wade decided to focus on what would be his divine purpose and calling--"Education." His career in education spanned for over fifty years. He began as a high school English teacher in Oxford, North Carolina. His next teaching stint returned him to Stillman College, where he also served as the college's baseball coach. While working at Stillman College, Dr. Wade earned his master's degree in Secondary Education from the University of Alabama. His Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Foundations was awarded by The Ohio State University in 1971.
Subsequently, Dr. Wade served for twelve years as an executive with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional accrediting body. He held several other senior-level positions. He served as executive vice president at both Southern University in Louisiana and Hampton University in Virginia, as well as vice chancellor for academic affairs at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.
Dr. Wade was active on many boards and commissions, including the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee (APOC), the National Committee on Educational Media and Materials for the Handicapped, the National Advisory Council for the Strengthening Developing Institutions Program, the editorial board of the Educational Forum, the Visiting Panel on Research of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the Advisory Board for the NAFEO Kellogg Leadership Fellows Program, and the Southern Education Foundation's Advisory Committee for the Center to Serve. Dr. Wade's collective body of work in education leaves an invaluable mark; however, his true legacy and influence was bestowed to his family, friends, and close associates.
Dr. Wade and Gwendolyn married in 1988 and for twenty-nine years resided in southwest Atlanta, GA. They enjoyed hosting family gatherings for holidays, birthdays, graduations, marriages, career promotions, and sporting events. These various family gatherings provided Dr. Wade opportunities to not only spend quality daddy time with the six children, eleven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, but also provided him with joyous memories that comforted him during the final weeks of his life. In addition to his wife of 35 years, he leaves behind two daughters, Karol "Chris" Wade, Jonesboro, GA, and Lindsey (Mario) Breedlove, Fayetteville, GA; four sons, Gerald (Denise) Wade, Douglasville, GA; William Robert "Bill" Wade, Jonesboro, GA; and Kyle and Brian Wade, both of Atlanta, GA. Dr. Wade was preceded in death by his oldest sister, the late M. Clynthia, Ohio. His remaining siblings to cherish his memory are Dr. Archie (Jacqueline) Wade, Tuscaloosa, AL; Glenda Smith, Tuscaloosa, AL; Janice (Ernest) Jackson, Cincinnati, Ohio; Karen Williams, Tuscaloosa, AL; his two sisters-in-law, Anitra and Brenda Boddie, Waverly Hall, GA; and a brother in-law, James (Christine) Boddie, Jr., Decatur, GA.
Though he will be sorely missed, and his absence felt by all who knew him, Dr. Wade left an indelible legacy that will reverberate in our lives and hearts forever.