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Dr. Linda Edmonds Turner

3/11/2009, 6:40 a.m.

Dr. Linda Edmonds Turner 

Dr. Linda Edmonds Turner, president of the Urban College of Boston, was recently honored with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s 2009 Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Arts and Education.

Turner has been president of Urban College since 2002. The non-traditional institution, which turns 15 this year, provides access to post-secondary education to low-income inner-city residents. Urban College has an enrollment of approximately 700 students each semester, offering associate degree programs in early childhood education, human services administration and general studies, as well as several certificate programs in career-oriented fields.

“Dr. Turner’s contributions to the Boston-area community and beyond are far-reaching and extraordinary,” said Urban College Board Chair John Nucci. “The Urban College of Boston has been hailed as a national model for bringing low-income people into higher education and giving them the tools, through education, to move out of poverty permanently.

“Dr. Turner’s important work at the college has enhanced that model considerably,” he added.

During Turner’s tenure, Urban College has seen a significant increase in student enrollment and fundraising accomplishments that include more than $2 million in new grants.

“I am very honored to receive the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Arts and Education, particularly in light of there being so many excellent colleges and universities in the Boston area,” Turner said. “I am also pleased to accept this award in recognition of the hardworking women leaders who make up 96 percent of the Urban College of Boston’s student population.”

Prior to coming to Urban College, Turner served as vice president and chief marketing officer at Dean College in Franklin, Mass. She previously held consumer product and senior marketing executive positions at the DuPont Company, Whirlpool Corporation and Polaroid Corporation.

Turner holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in business administration from Virginia Tech, and a master’s in general ecology from Michigan State University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in higher education administration at Harvard University.

She lives in Milton with her husband John and son Johnathan.