Emile Wilson remembered for scholarly achievement, activism

Emile Wilson, a pivotal figure in Seattle University's history passed away in Gardena, Calif., last month after a brief bout with cancer.

A student of Seattle University in the late 1960s and 1970s, Wilson made a mark in both his studies and his efforts to advance the civil rights movement. He is described in A History of Excellence, as follows:

"Perhaps one of the most intriguing students to attend Seattle University, Emile Wilson gained notice as both activist and scholar. A protégé of the ever-present Father McGoldrick, he first enters SU history during a violent anti-ROTC protest in 1970. Arrested for vandalism on May 15, he was released in time to take part in an invasion of (then-president) Father (Kenneth) Baker's office three days later.

"Though suspended and then reinstated, Wilson's story has a surprising epilogue. Taken under wing by McGoldrick (with whom he is pictured here), he completed a master's degree in education, and in 1975 was named the university's first Rhodes Scholar."

Wilson received his Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1971 and Master of Education in 1974. He served as president of the Black Student Union and was critical in forming what today we refer to as the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

As announced last week by Mission and Ministry, Wilson is survived by his daughter, a sister and two brothers, two nieces and four nephews. Memorial services are being planned for Seattle and Los Angeles.