Arlington, VA (March 21, 2021) — Regina E. Manley, the first African American elected president of the NACAC Executive Board, passed on March 5.
A long-time educator in the Chicago Public School System, Manley was an accomplished and beloved leader and member of NACAC. During her three-year presidential term (1989-1991), Manley accomplished many firsts, including leading association efforts to purchase a permanent national headquarters in Alexandria, VA, after two decades of deliberation. The move from Skokie, IL, to the Washington, DC area positioned NACAC to collaborate on national education issues with members of Congress, US Department of Education officials, and other organizations that advocate for students in the college admission process.
Equally important for the association, Manley appointed a NACAC Commission on Minority Participation in Higher Education, which laid the foundation for the organization’s continuing efforts to ensure equitable access for all students as they pursue high education.
Former NACAC President Audrey T. Hill shared her memories of Manley’s willingness to pour into others: “I met Regina at a NACAC national conference. She and I became close friends and passionate public school counselors. After I completed my term as president of the Potomac & Chesapeake Regional Association, a NACAC affiliate organization, she encouraged me to seek the presidency of NACAC. During this time, she became not only a friend, but a mentor through the entire process. She opened the door for me to become the second African American president of NACAC, and I will never forget her compassionate support and friendship.
“She was professionally passionate about everything she did whether it was counseling students, working with colleagues, or testifying before congressional lawmakers. Her legacy will be remembered forever.”
Former NACAC CEO Joyce Smith offered, “President Regina Manley, like so many former leaders from the great state of Illinois, was a fierce leader and an informed counselor. I respected the members of the board, at that time, for their capacity to perform work on projects and policies, while also being engaged as leaders on the board. She governed with her head and her heart and compelled others to follow when making tough decisions. Personally, she became my mentor, counsel, friend, and advocate in my roles as associate executive director and CEO. Regina was generous in spirit and humor, but tough when the times called for it. She will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing and working with her.”
The National Association for College Admission Counseling extends its deepest heartfelt condolences to Manley’s family and friends.