About the Founding Director

Jacqueline Wilson

Greetings from Jacqueline Wilson

Hello! I am extremely honored to be a part of the Wayne State University family. Our superior research and academic programs are second to none and nationally recognized among fewer than 3 percent of universities nationwide with the Carnegie Foundation classification of RU/VH (Research University, Very High research activity).

Centered in an urban environment, Wayne State's community is diverse and rich in culture and history. Our students and graduates are leading the way thanks to a world-class faculty, a fully committed leader at the helm, and solid community and industry partnerships. It's a great time to be at Wayne State and in Detroit. I look forward to many pivotal moments to come in this remarkable institution's future.

  Jacqueline Wilson

Former First Lady Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson is a former energy consultant for Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management. She also spent more than two decades in corporate sales for AT&T and WorldCom.

Now, with the support of her husband M. Roy Wilson, and others, Jacqueline Wilson is championing the cause of homelessness at Wayne State and in Detroit. She serves on the Women's Advisory Council for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, representative of Michigan's 14th District. Mrs. Wilson is also on the Samaritas Advisory Council, where they recreate connect people to communities and families. Additionally, Jacqueline Wilson serves as a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit Board of Directors, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community.

HIGH Program

Jacqueline Wilson established the HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program with a mission to ensure no student abandons their dream of earning a degree solely because of housing or financial challenges. The HIGH Program provides resources for students in need, such as housing support, textbooks and other school supplies, clothing, transportation, and child-care assistance.

Students at Wayne State are working hard for a successful life. Regardless of the hardships some may face, they are determined to graduate and contribute to the world. Through the HIGH Program, you have an opportunity to transform lives.

There are many ways to support the HIGH Program.

To learn more about ways to give and to volunteer to help, contact

Jacqueline Wilson
Former First Lady

HIGH Program Staff

Beecher House
5475 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-9933
Fax: (313) 577-1069

The First Thought Podcast

Listen to the First Thought podcast with Jacqueline Wilson, the former First Lady of Wayne State University and Founding Director of the WSU HIGH program.

Beginning February 18th you can listen to the podcast weekly with new episodes airing every Monday on Apple Podcasts, Youtube, and Spotify.

In the News

Wayne State University honored Women's History Month with Ferry Street event
In celebration of Women's History Month, Wayne State University held an event to recognize the women who lived and worked in the East Ferry Historic District, located at the eastern edge of the university's campus in Detroit. The district is home to grand Victorian houses that reflect the legacy of its former residents, many of whom were women.

An Evening for Alumni and Friends at The Henry Ford Museum
Friends and alumni of Wayne State joined Dr. and Mrs. Wilson for a vibrant evening of networking and university updates. In addition guests had the opportunity to receive a signed copy of President Wilson's new memoir, The Plum Tree Blossoms in Winter.

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson and First Lady Jacqueline Wilson smiling vibrantly as they pose for President Wilson's book signing event.

Wayne State president casts wider net for this summer's Road Warrior bike tour
Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson will take the third annual Road Warrior bike tour farther north this summer, biking to four cities in five days. 

HIGH Program Receives Certificate of Appreciation from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The HIGH Program received a Certificate of Appreciation from the office of Diversity and Inclusion that acknowledged the program's nomination for the Champions of Diversity Award here at the University.

2019 NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner
Sunday, May 5, 2019, the Detroit chapter of the NAACP celebrated the 64th annual Freedom Fund Dinner.

Carla Walker-Miller Ribbon Cutting On New Facility
DETROIT, MI, April 26, 2019 The HIGH Program and other supporters of Walker-Miller Energy Services were invited to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony in their new facility in midtown Detroit.

Rest In Peace Judge Damon Keith Crusader for Justice
First Lady Jacqueline Wilson acknowledges the passing of Federal Judge Damon Keith.  A Civil rights activist, a friend of Detroit, and Wayne State Law School graduate.

First Lady Jacqueline Wilson Brings Remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus Visit
Recently, Wayne State University's First Lady Jacqueline Wilson brought remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus Visit to Detroit.  Wayne State University hosted the event inside the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Gilmour Mall. 

Dr. Wilson receives award from Greek Glaucoma Society 
The Greek Glaucoma Society (GGS) recently honored Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson with its highest accolade for glaucoma specialists.

Pistons are Playoff Partners for the HIGH Program (PDF)
The Detroit Pistons may have won in their face off against the Memphis Grizzlies 100-93, but the real winner of Wayne State Night at Little Caesar's Arena was the HIGH Program.

Big Sean returns to Detroit for Youth Economic Mobility Summit (PDF)
The HIGH Program and other youth-serving agencies in the area were invited by Detroit rapper Big Sean as he returned to his roots last month for a conversation about youth economic mobility, the 2020 census, and more.

Happy Birthday video 
Happy Birthday video to First Lady Jacqueline Wilson.

In Loving Memory
In loving memory of Cliff Russell may he rest in peace.

Wayne State University First Lady meets with local students to highlight importance of college degree
Held throughout the state of Michigan, Warrior Day activities offered through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions provide an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about Wayne State and engage in planned activities.

Wayne State University First Lady Jacqueline Wilson Advocates for HIGH Program
The HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program helps financially stressed students at Wayne State University reach their goal to graduate. First Lady of Wayne State University and Founder of the HIGH Program appears on this edition of Newsmakers Extended.

A Mid-Day Workshop
HIGH program presents a Mid-Day WorkshopFirst Lady Jaqueline Wilson's Helping Individual's Go Higher (HIGH) Program collaborated with Alpha Kappa Alpha (A.K.A) chapters; Pi Tau Omega Chapter of Southfield, Michigan and Alpha Rho Omega of Detroit, Michigan to present a Mid-Day Workshop. The event was held from 10:00 a.m. - 12: 00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 in Wayne State University's Student Center where local organizations, staff and students joined the panel discussion. "The event made me want to improve things about myself that I thought were perfectly fine. It was very enlightening," said, Jasmynn Brown, a participant. The workshop entitled "Putting it All Together" successfully informed the attendees on how to meet personal goals regarding finances, fitness, education and job opportunities.

HIGH Points: First Lady Wilson combats student homelessness with outreach initiative
Upon arriving at Wayne State, President M. Roy Wilson and wife Jacqueline were quickly confronted with the oft-obscured issue of student homelessness and housing instability. Not too long after arriving on campus, the First Lady had a chance encounter with a medical school student who, she learned, was living out of his car. She decided then that something had to be done.

Holiday dinner