Campus Faces

Trustee Is a Force for Campus Diversity

Odell Guyton ’77 squired a most beautiful young lady to the dedication ball for the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex. It was his daughter Kiley ’03, the oldest of his four children, an Honors student who will graduate this year with a double major in Spanish and art. “She’s quite something,” he says fondly. And Kiley, out of his hearing, says: “He’s my inspiration, even if he is my father.”

Kiley is one of the reasons Guyton has been a standard-bearer for increased diversity on the Moravian campus. Guyton is African-American and his wife, Karen Boyer Guyton ’78, is white. Kiley is interested in the way racial mix defines identity and spent part of last summer working on a project in Cuba, which has one of the most racially mixed populations in the Americas.

Her father is a dominant force behind the diversity initiative at Moravian. When he arrived on campus in 1973, on a recommendation from his basketball coach at the Pingry School in Elizabeth, N.J., “I fell in love with Moravian and its heritage,” he says. It was not an era of diversity, but the campus had a small, close-knit group of minority and international students.

Guyton, an attorney, has maintained his ties with Moravian over time. “I’ve stayed part of the family,” he says. He sits on several key committees of the Board of Trustees. There he has raised the issue of diversity repeatedly. “I just think it wasn’t a priority,” he says.

His career has been spent not letting organizations pay lip service to change. Until recently he was corporate compliance counsel to the University of Pennsylvania, insuring that contracts between the university and the government observed minority hiring goals, affirmative action, and other requirements. Earlier this year, he became corporate compliance director for Microsoft, where he has less to do with human resources than with seeing that the company obeys the settlement of the antitrust case built by the U.S. Justice Department.

Of the College’s current enrollment and the diversity training courses for faculty and staff, he says: “Clearly . . . it’s doing a better job [at diversity]. I’d like to see it attract a more diverse faculty and also the kind of educators who can see a diamond in the rough of a child and bring it out. This college has a lot to offer the non-traditional student.”