"It is an honor to present this award to Dr. Reatha Clark King," said Scott Gray, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Urban League. "She embodies what it means to be a trailblazer because of all she has done in her life and the impact and path she leaves for so many of us to follow."
King learned the value of education early in life and excelled in all of her academic pursuits. She holds bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics, and earned a master's and doctorate degree, as well as a MBA. King began her career at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), becoming the agency's first African American female chemist. King left NBS to serve in professorship and leadership positions at York College in New York. In 1977, King left York College to become the second president of Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota. After eleven years at Metropolitan State University, King became the executive director of the General Mills Foundation and vice president of the General Mills Corporation.
King is a former member of five public company boards, including Exxon Mobil Corporation, Wells Fargo & Company, Minnesota Mutual Companies, H. B. Fuller Company, and Lenox Group Inc. Boards of Directors. Currently, King is chairwoman of the board of directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
In addition to her chemical research and various community service activities, King is also very active in the community and has lectured extensively on the subjects of volunteer and community service, organizational governance, education and social issues all over the world. King has received numerous civic and business awards, including NACD's 2004 Director of the Year Award and 14 honorary doctorate degrees.
King said receiving the MUL Trailblazer award is special in many ways. "The word trailblazer itself is awesome. People say that I am a leader. Trailblazer implies it is the little things that I have done and how I've led that matters," said King. "The thought that all the single things I've done in my life have been helpful to people and that I have inspired others is special to me."
King was married to the late N. Judge King for 52 years and they have two children, N. Judge King, III and Scott King.
King will be presented the 2014 MUL Trailblazer Award by MUL President Scott Gray and Kenneth Charles, Vice President of Global Inclusion and staffing at General Mills.