Skip to content

AAMU Mourns Death of Beloved Planning Professor, VCLLI Facilitator

Dr. Constance Jordan Wilson
October 15, 2022

Remembering Dr. Constance Jordan Wilson

The Alabama A&M University Family is mourning the recent death of a revered retired professor affiliated for decades with its noted Department of Community and Regional Planning within  the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences.

Dr. Constance Jordan Wilson launched her lengthy and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Commission as Senior Community Planner in 1973.  During her six-year tenure with the Commission, Dr. Wilson developed the Middle Range Planning Program for Nashville, Tenn.; developed the transportation plan for the elderly and disabled; worked on Nashville’s annual transportation studies in the mid-1970s; and worked with her team on a series of community development block grants.

Subsequent positions included multiple titles and positions throughout her several decades at AAMU.  She served as an assistant professor in AAMU’s planning department beginning in 1979, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in urban and regional planning, coordinating the department’s transportation specialty, while conducting research in the areas of urban and rural transportation needs and feasibility analysis.

By 1988, Dr. Wilson had become head of the Department of Community Planning and Urban Studies, leading the unit through two successful program reviews for re-accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board.  In 1996, she became director of the Center for Urban and Rural Research.  In 2005, she was presented the Distinguished Professional Planner Award by the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.  In 2018, thre APA, Planning and the Black Community Division presented Wilson with the Academic Award of Merit.

Dr. Wilson played in integral role throughout the inception and formative years of the Virginia Caples Lifelong Learning Institute at Alabama A&M University.  Founded to celebrate learning and advance the quality of life among Alabama’s older population, the Institute was named in honor of the nearly 40-year AAMU faculty member, University and Extension administrator, and two-time interim president of AAMU.   Wilson served as VCLLI’s co-director, 2017-19, and helped to take the Institute beyond the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s annual Successful Aging Initiative (SAI) by expanding its impact on older adults, families and caregivers.  

Beyond her University assignments, Dr. Wilson provided expertise in city planning through her consulting firm, Progressive Strategic Planning, LLC (formerly C. Jordan Wilson & Associates). Her proficiencies also were provided through consultancy services, including subcontracting with national airport planning firms; preparing HUD Consolidated Plans for municipalities; developing Fair Housing Plans for cities; providing leadership training for community-based organizations, conducting neighborhood assessments, designing citizen participation and consultation processes, and program management for Community Development Block Grant funds.

Dr. Wilson earned the B.S. degree in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in 1973. She completed the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Fisk University in 1975.  The administrator earned the Ph.D. degree in political science with minor areas in public administration and planning from the University of Alabama.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 15, at First Missionary Baptist Church, 3509 Blue Spring Road NW, Huntsville, Ala., with Dr. Don Darius Butler officiating.  Interment will be at Loyd Cemetery in Bridgeport, Ala.  The AAMU Family, in lieu of flowers, can make donations to the Dr. Constance Jordan Wilson Memorial Fund.   Individuals may mail checks, money orders and other donations payable to AAMU FOUNDATION (Memo Line: Dr. Constance Jordan Wilson) to the Office of Marketing, Communication and Advancement, Alabama A&M University, 309 Patton Building, Normal, AL 35762.

-J. Saintjones