Congratulations to our own Russ Wigginton, who will soon be leaving our SCORE team to become the President of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, one of the nation’s premier museums and heritage locations.

As SCORE’s first Chief Postsecondary Impact Officer, Russ has done an incredible job launching and building our postsecondary efforts, leading the development of some groundbreaking reports advancing key pieces of policy, expanding our reach and partnerships, and initiating several pilot projects across the state to ensure greater college access, completion, and student success.

Russ joined our team in 2019 following a 23-year career at Rhodes College, and he has played a critical role in SCORE’s growth and impact as an organization. 

His experience and expertise as a longtime college leader, faculty member, and administrator was invaluable in the development of our Going Higher report that examined the state’s groundbreaking work in higher ed policy, with strong and focused recommendations on how to improve persistence and completion for all students.

Similarly, Russ’ leadership in the development and analysis of our more recent and first of its kind, Higher Ed By The Numbers report helped us present publicly available data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and Pell Grant eligibility by institution to really zero in on many of our challenges and where much more work needs to be done. 

Finally, his years of experience, passion for students, and ability to engage and involve others in the work have helped us build a strong network of postsecondary leaders who are dedicated to improving the student experience and has laid the groundwork for our ongoing impact in the postsecondary space.

In all his work, Russ has demonstrated his belief that what matters for success in higher education is ensuring institutions develop and maintain a sharp focus on the student experience and meeting individual student needs.

Please join us in thanking Russ for his outstanding work and congratulating him on this amazing new opportunity with such a wonderful organization. 

The National Civil Rights Museum is a special place in our state and our nation, and as we think about the important work the museum does in sharing the culture and lessons from the American civil rights movement and exploring how the era continues to shape equality and freedom globally, we can think of no better person to lead this important institution — at this important time — than Russ.

We know Russ will remain a trusted advisor and partner to SCORE. Our entire team wishes him the very best, and we cannot wait to see what amazing things he accomplishes next.