Philip W. Carter

Professor of Social Work
Prichard Hall 302


Philip W. Carter, MSW, is a professor of Social Work and academic activist in the Marshall University College of Health Professions.  With over four decades of contributions, three of which were at Marshall University, Professor Carter has taught and developed coursework in the areas of Appalachian social welfare, legislation and social justice. His commitment as an agent of change resulted in being first to engage in opportunities and honors as a Marshall athlete.  His 1962 appointment by U.S. Representative Ken Heckler to the U.S. Capitol Police Force was the first for an undergraduate athlete to receive a federal appointment.  As one of the first African American athletes in a Division I major white institution south of the Mason Dixon line, he assumed leadership on the basketball court and mobilized desegregation in public businesses in the Tri-state region.  These efforts resulted in a 1963 executive order issued by WV Governor W. W. Baron on human and civil rights. After joining the Marshall faculty in 1980, Professor Carter was eventually granted tenure as the department chairperson. He was the first Social Work faculty member to receive tenure in 20 years of the program’s existence, becoming the first social work professor to gain the title.  In 1986, Professor Carter was the first recipient of the “Living the Dream” award from the West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission. Professor Carter developed and taught approximately 60 Afrocentric courses from 1985-2008 and he initiated an Africana Social Work minor.  Since 1996, he has been the executive secretary and co-founder of the Black Legends, an organization of former MU black athletes, which has inducted 100 recipients into the Black Legends MU Hall of Fame.   He was on the founding line of two chapters, undergraduate and graduate, of the Kappa Alpha Psi Epsilon Delta fraternity at Marshall University and the Huntington Alumni. Programs created that continue to exist today include the Western Pennsylvania Black Political Assembly which was established in 1974.Professor Carter has served four terms as

President of the Cabell County/Huntington NAACP chapter.  He currently chairs the WV NAACP Conferences of Branches Higher Education Committee.  He developed and taught the only NAACP course on any U.S. campus. With respect to the arts and media, he was recognized as an outstanding MU basketball player in Arthur Ashe, Jr.’s book, “A Hard Road to Glory: Basketball.”  In 2007, Carter was nominated by WV Supreme Court Justice Starcher to play the role of bailiff in the state presentation of the play “J.R. Clifford and the Carrie Williams Case.” At the end of the millennium, The Herald Dispatch recognized him as one of the “50 Top Influential Leaders in the Tri-State for the 20th century.”  In 2011, he was inducted into the West Virginia All Black School Sports and Academic Hall of Fame as a “Lifetime Achievement Award” winner. In 2012, he was admitted to the Legend Level of that Hall of Fame. Professor Carter earned his B.A. in Political Science from Marshall University and his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh, where he successfully completed the written comprehensive and coursework for the Ph.D. in Public Administration.  He is currently working on a book with the intent of increasing the level of cultural and political consciousness of those who read it. His continuing scholarly interests focus on recognizing and eliminating racism in higher education and promoting African American faculty in predominantly white institutions.  When asked why he chose social work as a lifelong endeavor, his response emphasized three simple reasons: “to care, to counsel and to change.”