The Fletcher “Flash” Wiley MBLA Legacy Scholarship Award seeks to support the development of students who, like Past MBLA President Fletcher “Flash” Wiley, display academic and professional excellence, exhibit a commitment to diversity and inclusion through leadership and volunteerism, and demonstrate a conviction to “lift as they climb.”
Fletcher “Flash” Wiley was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana where he was a charter member of the “Gifted Child Program” by the Indianapolis Public Schools and the only African-American in his class. He was recruited by the United States Air Force Academy in 1960 and became the first African-American from the State of Indiana appointed to a military academy, as well as the school’s first African-American football player. As an athlete, he gained the nickname “Flash,” and in 1965, became the fifth African-American graduate of the Air Force Academy and the Academy’s first black Fulbright Scholar. Past President Wiley continued his studies at L’Institut Des Etudes Politiques at the University of Paris in France and, in 1974, following his service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, he received his M.P.P. degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
For almost four decades, Past President Wiley has been a leader in the Massachusetts legal and business communities, practicing in the areas of corporate and commercial law, small business development, entertainment law and real estate. He helped form the Boston -based law firm of Budd, Reilly and Wiley (“Budd” as in MBLA Past President Wayne Budd), the largest minority-dominant firm in New England at the time. In 1996, Past President Wiley joined PRWT Services, Inc. as vice president and general counsel, where he helped build the company into one of the nation’s largest minority-owned businesses and Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2009 “Company of the Year.” He remains a member of the PRWT Advisory Board.
Past President Wiley has served as a Director of several for-profit business organizations, including three public companies. He was a Director of The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE) for two decades, and is currently a director of the privately-held sports enterprise, Haymon Boxing, LLC and the chairman and chief executive officer of the Centaurus Group, LLC. He is also of counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, where he specializes in corporate and commercial law.
Past President Wiley’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is shown through his many leadership roles within minority-focused organizations. He founded and chaired the Governor’s Commission on Minority Business Development and served as president and later national chairman of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, Inc. He is a founding member of the Black Alumni Associations of both the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School, a benefactor of Crispus Attucks Children’s Center, Inc., a former Director of the New England Legal Foundation, and Overseer of the New England Region Anti-Defamation League. He also served as the third President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, Inc. Past President Wiley is currently Chairman of the Board of The Dimock Center, Inc., a nationally-recognized urban community health center that provides residents of Boston with high quality, low cost health care and human services that might not otherwise be available to the communities it serves.
Past President Wiley has been recognized many times for his professional achievement and his laudable commitment to service, including induction into the 2010 “Academy of Distinguished Bostonians,” appointment to the Board of Visitors of The Air University and appointment to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy by President Barack Obama.
In Past President Wiley’s honor, this Award is aimed at law school students of color who are MBLA members and who, through leadership and volunteerism, champion the cause of diversity in their academic and extracurricular endeavors. In addition to these convictions, the recipients will also exemplify the characteristics reflective of Past President Wiley and many of the MBLA’s most distinguished leaders: high achievement, exceptional professionalism, strong character and a commitment to investing in the professional development of others. This Award is given annually by the MBLA in the amount of up to $10,000.
Eligibility Criteria and Application Process
Each student may apply for each of the three MBLA scholarships offered: The Honorable Justice Roderick L. Ireland Leadership and Juvenile Advocacy Award ($1,500), The Honorable Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award ($1,000), and the Fletcher “Flash” Wiley MBLA Legacy Award (up to $10,000). Although students may apply for more than one scholarship, no student will be awarded more than one scholarship in any given year.
Applicants for the Fletcher “Flash” Wiley MBLA Legacy Scholarship must:
- Demonstrate exceptional commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion;
- Demonstrate commitment to “lift as they climb,” which is to have exhibited an interest in the professional development and success of others;
- Be a second-year law student, or the equivalent in a dual-degree J.D.-granting academic program, at the time of nomination;
- Be enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school;
- Exhibit exceptional academic achievement;
- Demonstrate a commitment to practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and
- Be a MBLA member.
To apply for this award applicants must submit the following:*
• Cover Letter
• Law School Transcript
• Two (2) Letters of Recommendation (Must be from an Employer or Professor)
Recommendation Letters should include:
▪ How long and in what capacity the recommender knows the applicant
▪ Evaluation of the applicant’s commitment to diversity and inclusion
▪ Evaluation of the applicant’s leadership abilities and volunteerism
▪ Evaluation of the applicant’s commitment to the principle of “lift as you climb”
▪ Any other relevant, special skills possessed by the applicant
Applicants for this award should be prepared to participate in an interview with a panel of MBLA members, should the applicant be selected as a Finalist for this scholarship.
*All scholarship application materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org as a single PDF document. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Questions regarding the MBLA Scholarships or the scholarship application process may be directed to D’Andre Fernandez, Student Support Committee Chair, at email@example.com or Michael Kippins, Student Support Committee Co-Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.