Full Name
Dr. Adena Williams Loston
Job Title
St. Philip's College
Speaker Bio
Dr. Adena Williams Loston serves as the 14th President of St. Philip's College our nation’s only Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution. She assumed the reins on March 1, 2007, on the occasion of St. Philip’s 109th anniversary.

She previously served as the Director of Education and Special Assistant for Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Chief Education Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at its Headquarters in Washington, DC. Her initial appointment at NASA was as the Associate Administrator for Education on October 28, 2002, and prior to joining the Agency, she served as the NASA Administrator’s Senior Education Advisor starting in September 2002. As NASA’s senior education official, she was responsible for structuring the Office of Education, providing executive leadership, policy direction, functional management, and guidance in coordinating the Agency’s overall efforts to organize and enhance its education investments and portfolio nationally and internationally for its Headquarter operations, mission directorates and 10 field centers. Dr. Loston was responsible for a $230 million budget (including earmarks) and directed policy for $1.3 billion.

Dr. Loston has served as President of San Jacinto College South, Executive Dean/Provost in the El Paso Community College District, Dean of Vocational Education, Budgets and Facilities, and Dean Professional Programs at Santa Monica College, and has also served in other administrative educational capacities for the past 39 years.

Dr. Loston is the product of a historically black college, Alcorn State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1973. She received her Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Bowling Green State University in 1974 and 1979 respectively. She also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University in 1996; the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University in 2001; and the Wharton School of Business in 2005.

Dr. Loston is active in professional organizations and associations and has received numerous awards during her career. In 2019 she received the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce Euretta K Fairchild Community Leadership Award, Les Dames d’Escoffier Legacy Award, the Audrey Lawson Impact Award from Wheeler Avenue Inner City Visions, Inc., the Alcorn State University Metro-Jackson Alumni Chapter –Leadership Legends Award and was a Texas Diabetes Institute Wall of Honor Inductee, Heart of Care Award. In 2018, Dr. Loston received the NAACP Silver Lifetime Membership Award and the Healthy Futures’ Dr. Janet Realini Trailblazer Award. In 2017, she received the “Holy Woman: Celebrating a Saint” award from the Artemisia Bowden Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians; the Community Builder award from the Masons of Alamo Lodge #44; the Emerging Leader Trusted Leader Award and the ALAS Leadership Excellence Award. In 2016, Dr. Loston received the Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership Excellence in Education Award, the Verna Lee Booker Hightower Award from the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Black Heritage Committee, and the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Humanitarian Award from the United Communities of San Antonio. She also received recognition from as the Friends of Sam Houston (High School) 2016 Community Honoree recognition and the Kindred Cultural Center Community Recognition Award. In 2014 Dr. Loston was recognized by the Texas Diversity Council as a DiversityFIRST™ Award Winner; received the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce Euretta K Fairchild Community Leadership Award; and received the Community Legend in Higher Education award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (local chapter).

In 2013 she received the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce Comet Award, the YWCA Women of Influence Award and the MLK Distinguished Achievement Award. In 2012 was selected to join the International Women’s Forum/Texas Women’s Forum and received the Outstanding Public Service/ Educator Award, the Minority Workforce Development Champion Award, the Top Ladies of Distinction National Humanitarian Award, and the Friends of Carver and Delta Sigma Theta Talented Tenth Award. She is twice the recipient of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Shirley B. Gordon International Presidential Award of Distinction for 2011 & 1999. In 2010, she was one of four San Antonio women honored by the San Antonio WNBA Silver Stars basketball team during the team’s Inspiring Women Night.

For more than forty years Dr. Loston has been a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In the January 2008 issue “Women a Celebration” Dr. Loston was listed as one of the Women who Influence and Help Shape Events in the San Antonio Area.
Dr. Adena Williams Loston