Honorary Degree

Lucille Webb

A woman smiling.

Lucille Holcombe Webb, a native of Richmond, Virginia, has been a resident of North Carolina since she matriculated at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where she earned a B.S. degree. She received her M.ED from State University at Oneonta, New York and additional certification in administration and supervision from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Her career in teaching and administration spans some forty years. She was a classroom teacher, department chairperson and personnel administrator in the Wake County school system. Since her retirement in 1984, she has been a community advocate, devoting countless hours to helping others and working on boards, commissions, task forces and networking with organizations to plan, implement and monitor programs that impact health, family life and education.

A wide range of community organizations benefitted from Lucille’s leadership, including Delta Sigma Theta, Girl Scouts, YWCA, The Links, Incorporated, Raleigh Human Relations Council, Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies and NC Museum of History, to name a few. In every role, she worked to bring the right people together to make things happen.

Lucille’s leadership in public health is national in scope. Through service on the Wake County Board of Health, she emerged as president and founding member of Strengthening the Black Family (STBF), a Raleigh-based non-profit focused on improving the quality of life in uplifting the Wake County minority community. The Kellogg Foundation tapped her to lead their Community-Based Public Health Initiative to address inequities in the health of the nation’s ethnic minorities. She is heralded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as an expert in community-based participatory research, and for building support for programs addressing chronic health challenges impacting communities of color. She was recognized by the National Community Based Organization Network of the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association through the 2006 creation of the annual Lucille Webb Award.

Her collaboration with university partners at UNC-Chapel Hill has been extensive, representing STBF on the North Carolina Coalition of the Kellogg Foundation’s Community-Based Public Health Initiative, teaching and mentoring students and faculty with the community competencies they need to be successful community-engaged scholars; serving on the program’s National Advisory Committee and a state-wide Institutional Review Board; chairing the executive team for Project DIRECT, a diabetes research development project; and serving as Community Course Director for the Faculty Engaged Scholars Program. Balancing these many roles, her insight, guidance and skill in forming successful community-academic partnerships were key to the success of these programs and to advancing knowledge in addressing health disparities.

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