Mr. Albert Richard Wilson
2003 Award of Honor
Presidency runs in his blood, and it all began at East Tennessee State University. President of his freshman class and later the Vice President and President of the Student Government Association, A. Richard Wilson participated in several activities and organizations during his time at the Johnson City campus. Throughout his freshman and sophomore years, he was a member of the ETSU Baseball team. In 1962, he was the Baptist Student Union program chairman and chaired the University Status Committee. This milestone designation was granted to ETSU in 1963, and Wilson feels proud to have played a part. He was the recipient of the Wall Street Journal Economics Award in 1963. A member of ETSU's ROTC, Wilson graduated in 1963 and served in the U.S. Army as Captain and O.I.C. of the state of Mississippi from 1964-66. Wilson was accepted at Harvard Business School, served as president of the Real Estate Society, and graduated with an M.B.A. in 1969.
Upon graduating from Harvard, Wilson served as a Vice President for Alodex Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee, where he developed a joint venture division and successfully managed the development of hundreds of condominium units in California and Florida. He also coordinated a planned $400 million commercial complex in Chicago resolving federal, state, and city regulator problems.
In 1973, Wilson co-founded a venture capital firm called New South Investment Company with leading members of the Memphis business and banking community, where he served as President and CEO, and was an initial investor of Federal Express Corporation.
After establishing a name for himself in Memphis, Wilson moved to Houston, Texas, and became Vice President of Harry R. Jones Company, where he developed apartment complexes and evaluated office building investment opportunities for this private real estate development and investment firm. In 1980, Wilson became a Senior Investment Broker with the Horne Company, where he developed procedures for marketing large income-producing properties and marketed some 1 billion dollars in real estate during this time.
In 1988, A. Richard Wilson created the Property Group, a real estate investment and development firm. He remains President and CEO of this firm, working with corporations and sophisticated investors, having developed 328 apartment units and 20 luxury condo units during 2002.
Among his many business ventures, from 1972 until 1978 Wilson was the Chief Election Inspector for Memphis/Shelby County. He also found time to serve as the campaign coordinator for Tennessee Congressman Bill Jenkins in 1996.
Throughout all his successes, Wilson has remained loyal to his alma mater, serving as a Buc Connection member and a Foundation member since 1996. He has also participated in the "Alumni Return to the Classroom" program. He currently resides in Houston, Texas.