After a very tough school year dealing with the pandemic, the Class of 2021 at Texas College are preparing to celebrate the completion of their hard work with some inspiration from one of their own alumni.

In a press release we received from Texas College, announced that they will honor Essence Magazine CEO and 2005 Alumna, Caroline A. Wanga, at their Spring 2021 Commencement Exercise, to be hosted virtually on Saturday, May 15. Wanga, who will also serve as the occasion’s speaker, will be bestowed the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Wanga's story is a fascinating climb up the corporate ladder that began right here in Tyler. After receiving her degree in Business Administration at Texas College in 2005, she began her corporate journey as a Distribution Center Intern for Target Corporation in Tyler, Wanga would climb the ranks within the company for the next 15 years where she would eventually serve as Target’s Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer until 2020.

Wanga departed Target to join Essence Ventures, parent company of Essence, as Chief Growth Officer. Within a month, she was named Interim CEO of Essence then, seven months later, "interim" was dropped and she became the company's CEO. Though she assumed the role of chief executive for Essence, she maintains a dual role as Chief Growth Officer for Essence Ventures.

Congratulations to Caroline Wanga and to all the graduates at Texas College!

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