Meharry to install Dr. James Hildreth as president

Dr. James-E.K. Hildreth

Dr. James-E.K. Hildreth

The highlight of a week of activities, April 10 – 16, will be the official installation of Dr. James E. K. Hildreth as the 12th President of Meharry Medical College. Noted actor Anthony Anderson will be on hand to host the college’s Inauguration Scholarship Gala.

The Meharry Board of Trustees will confer the Office of the President upon James E. K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D. during an Investiture Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Temple Church. Delegates from academic institutions across the world, along with other noteworthy participants are expected to attend, including federal, state and local elected officials U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, Tennessee State Representative Brenda Gilmore, and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

The full week of activities, including a Faith Walk, a Scientific Discovery Day, a Gospel Concert featuring Kim Burrell and a President’s Scholarship Golf Tournament culmonate with an Inauguration Scholarship Gala featuring Anthony Anderson, star of ABC television’s “Black-ish,” at 6 pm Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Visit for details about the inauguration week.

Dr. Hildreth has dedicated his Inauguration to raising scholarship funds for any student interested in upholding Meharry’s mission. With a shortage of physicians nationwide, the need for a diverse population of health care professionals and researchers is even greater, calling further attention to the alarming decline in the number of black men enrolled in medical school.

Today, the historically black academic health science center has trained thousands of health professionals who answer the call to serve in rural and urban communities with the greatest need. More than 80 percent of Meharry Medical College alumni provide health care services to the nation’s most vulnerable communities.

Dr. Hildreth actually began his tenure on July 1, 2015 as the 12th President of Meharry Medical College, and he also serves as the Chief Executive Officer. He received a B.S. from Harvard University magna cum laude in chemistry in 1979; a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Oxford in England in 1982; and the M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1987.

Dr. Hildreth is a noted Rhodes Scholar, renowned HIV/AIDS researcher and the recipient of numerous awards including the NIH Pioneer Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. He has been inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Dr. Hildreth also serves on the Harvard University Board of Overseers and the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse at the NIH.

Dr. Hildreth has been married to his wife, Phyllis Drennon King, for 35 years. They have two children: Sophia, a captain and attorney in the U.S. Army, and James, a senior at the University of Oregon. Prior to becoming Meharry’s president Dr. Hildreth served as dean at the University of California Davis College of Biological Sciences, where he made significant contributions to the university’s fundraising efforts and research programs.