Racquel Oden Makes History as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s First Female Board Chair


January 11, 2024

She is the first woman to hold this position in the organization’s 37-year history.

As the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) ushers in 2024, it embraces a groundbreaking shift in its leadership, with Racquel Oden assuming the role of Board Chair, the organization announced in a press release. This historic moment signifies a significant step forward for TMCF.

Founded in 1987 by Dr. N. Joyce Payne, TMCF has been a pillar of support for Black students pursuing higher education. Oden’s appointment as Board Chair serves as a powerful symbol of TMCF’s dedication to promoting equity, particularly amid challenges to diversity and inclusion efforts following recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action.


In a climate where the importance of diversity is of great importance, TMCF’s legacy of championing inclusion and equity stands out. Oden’s leadership further emphasizes the organization’s genuine commitment to these values, signaling that TMCF’s pursuit of equity extends beyond mere rhetoric.

Racquel Oden, a seasoned professional in the financial world as the Head of the US for HSBC Bank, where she leads Wealth and Personal Banking, brings a wealth of experience to TMCF. Her work in the industry uniquely positions her to advocate for new partnerships, adding to an already impressive roster of corporate collaborators.

As a dedicated member of the TMCF board for 16 years and an alumna of Hampton University, Oden actively contributes to enhancing the lives of the students served by TMCF. Her determination to uphold TMCF’s values and elevate the bar of excellence is a testament to her commitment to the organization’s mission to promote equity and inclusion.


TMCF’s status, built on empowering ambitions through education and equity, is set to soar higher with Oden working alongside TMCF’s dynamic leader, President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams. Together, they are poised to expand TMCF’s impact by increasing resources to provide Black students with access to high-quality education and transformative career opportunities.

TMCF has remained true to the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall and his fight for equity and inclusion that began nearly 90 years ago. The dawn of this new era at TMCF is not just a moment; it’s a movement toward a brighter, more inclusive future, with Racquel Oden at the helm, making history and steering the organization toward new heights of success.

Cover Photo: Racquel Oden / TMCF


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