Victor Wilson and UGA, a perfect match.
In 1977, Victor K. Wilson first stepped onto the University of Georgia campus as a high school senior with the Georgia Scholastic Press Association for his high school newspaper. It was April of his senior year, and he had a full-ride scholarship to Morris-Brown in Atlanta. However, while standing in the quad outside of the Grady College of Journalism he knew he had to become a Georgia bulldog. Upon returning home, he immediately began his application and hand-delivered it to Athens to ensure it would be processed in time due to it being late April. The rest was history.
“The university was just as much mine as it was anyone else’s”
While on campus VP found himself involved in Student Government Association, Freshman Council, Black Student Union, Men’s Glee Club, Resident Assistant, Hall Council, and an Orientation Leader. Along with studying as a pre-med student with intentions to become an ENT one day. Victor arrived on campus only 16 years after the university was fully integrated; however, through his involvement, it did not take Victor long to realize “the university was just as much mine as it was anyone else’s”. Victor always tells students “You never know how your time on campus can affect your life.” Victor describes his time serving as an orientation leader as “heaven” and it was during this experience he found his passion was serving and giving back to students any way he could. This ultimately led to his position today as Vice President of Student affairs. When looking back on his career and time spent working for the university he jokingly states “I think it worked out alright” as he takes a look around his office, the one he’s been in for over 10 years.
While his official involvement with Greek life at the University of Georgia did not come until later on, he had many friends on campus who were involved in Greek life. Once Victor decided he no longer wanted to pursue the medical track he even went through the Greek recruitment process but found it was too late in his college career. It wasn’t until Victor was working inside the University’s president’s office in the late 90s that he was approached by the then student body president, Bart Newman. Bart shared a dream with Victor of wanting to bring back a certain fraternity to campus that had previously been removed. Victor didn’t take Bart seriously until he received a phone call from the headquarters of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He knew then that Bart was serious and set up a meeting with him. They found common ground on wanting to create a fraternity where men like themselves could go and be encouraged to be involved, get good grades, and make their marks. Bart succeeded and Victor was initiated and named chapter advisor to the GA Delta SigEp chapter. A fraternity that Victor now serves as Grand Secretary and as a member of the National Board of Directors. From 1984 to 2004, Wilson served in roles as director of new student orientation, assistant to the president, and then associate vice president for student affairs. Victor returned to the University of Georgia in 2013 after serving for nine years as Vice President of Student Affairs at the College of Charleston before returning to UGA to take on the same role here in Athens. His experiences at UGA led him to create relationships with students and as a member of Greek life he immediately became a mentor to hundreds of men in IFC and remains one of the most respected leaders on campus among them.
“Think about your life, be hungry, and handle your business”
Victor immediately became a mentor to the men in IFC and nurtured the relationships he was creating. His honest, kind, and humorous demeanor make him one of the most respected mentors on campus among all students. Victor believes that “leadership is about what you see in people”, and Victor can always see the good. Most days he can be found mentoring and advising IFC leaders in his office located in Memorial Hall. Everyone who knows Victor knows that his alias around campus is ‘’VP”. VP is almost always sharing advice or encouraging someone to accomplish their goals on campus. He always tells students to “make your mark” and “be hungry”. He wants everyone to be able to prove they were here through the work they were able to accomplish as a student. VP is very proud of our students along with the men in IFC and how far they have come while still remaining hungry and leaving their own marks. He talks about the IFC’s commitment to scholarships for students at the University of Georgia and how a lot of the difficult conversations around campus are being led by leaders inside of the Interfraternity Council. Victor states “We’re all Greek together, I’m really proud to be Greek”. He goes on to say that during his time in college, IFC allowed its men to sit around and plan parties and it’s been incredible to see the mission shift. It’s very evident that VP has been an encourager and mentor to all men and women inside and outside of Greek Life. However, in classic VP fashion, he encourages us to never settle and continue to be hungry. He tells IFC men: “Don’t wait for the community to come to you. Go to the community yourself”. There is no doubt the University of Georgia and Greek Life leaders will be losing a big mentor however his impact will live on through his desire to always stay hungry.
“The things I don’t know I have done”
Victor has spent the past 46 years pouring into the University and students within our University and other campuses. He has held positions from the Director of New Student Orientation, Assistant to the President, and then Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. He has worked with some of the best leaders in the state and alongside our president Jere Morehead for many of those years. He has accomplished so much and received countless awards for his leadership abilities as Vice President of Students Affairs, Grand Secretary of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and much more. However, when asked what he was most proud of from his 46-year career Victor simply stated: “The things I don’t know I have done”. Victor says the conversations from students years down the road that say “I don’t know if you remember when you did this but it changed my life” have been the proudest moments in his career. He goes on to say you can’t accomplish changing lives by setting out every day to do it, you just simply do it by the way you live and care for the people you want to change. There is no better description of Victor K. Wilson. Victor is the definition of “for the students” and is so proud of how far they have come. There is no doubt he will be missed by students and staff alike.