Skip to main content Skip to main content
Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship,  Metropolitan State University of Denver honors the legacy of activism, advocacy, and community service embodied by Professor Noel since 1981 through the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship.

The Professorship

The Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship was initiated in 1981 to foster multiculturalism, diversity and academic excellence at Metropolitan State University of Denver. The professorship brings renowned scholars and artists of distinction to MSU Denver to conduct classes, seminars, performances and lectures for students, faculty and the larger Denver community.

Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Professors have included such luminaries as Princeton Professor Cornel West, pianist Billy Taylor, author Iyanla Vanzant, former president of Spelman College Johnetta Cole, jazz singer Diane Reeves, the late actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis and executive editor of Ebony magazine Lerone Bennett Jr.

2018 Visiting Professor

Dr. Philip S. Hart

Philip Hart


Philip S. Hart is an educator, author, filmmaker, sociologist, urban planner and real estate developer. Born and raised in Denver, Dr. Hart is a graduate of East Denver High School. Hart is an honors graduate from the University of Colorado where he was a varsity athlete. Hart was inducted into the University of Colorado Distinguished Alumni Gallery in 1995. Hart's graduate degrees were earned at Michigan State University (MSU) and the title of his 1974 PhD dissertation is 'Problems in Organizational Renewal,' which is available on Google Books.

Hart was a professor of sociology and director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture at University of Massachusetts Boston from 1974 to 2002 when he took early retirement. Among his students was the late Thomas Menino, who served as Mayor of Boston for 20 years. Hart is co-developer of Boston's Crosstown Industrial Park and BioSquare, that City's premiere biotech business park. Hart served as project manager in building the 5,000-seat West Angeles Cathedral in south Los Angeles. Hart served on the LA County Metro Expo Line Urban Design Committee. In Boston, Hart was a project director with the Boston Transportation Planning Review (BTPR), which reshaped public transit inside Route 128.

Hart is a longtime member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where he served on advisory service panels in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Camden, NJ, Washington, DC, San Antonio, Albuquerque, NM, and other cities. Hart also sponsored ULI panel visits to Roxbury, MA and Hollywood, CA. Hart has served as Executive Director of ULI LA and in 2008 was named ULI's first Managing Director for Diversity and Inclusion Worldwide. Hart serves on the national board of directors of the Real Estate Associate Program (REAP), the leading diversity program in the commercial real estate industry.

In 2010, Hart was named Diversity Executive of the Year by Commercial Property Executive. In 2011, Philip and Tanya Hart received the Diversity in Media Award from The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors. Hart is a member of the LA Biosciences Coalition, which developed a plan to expand the biosciences industry cluster in LA County.

Hart is the author of 14 books, including Cities, Suburbs and Blacks(with James E. Blackwell) and African Americans and the Future of New Orleans. He has also written three children’s books, which include Up in the Air: The Story of Bessie Colemanand Flying Free: America's First Black Aviators(the latter was named “A Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies” in 1992). In addition to his books, Hart has penned over 100 articles, including “Boston's Parcel to Parcel Linkage Plan,” “Hollywood's Time to Shine,” “'Incubating Inner City Biotech,” “Mass Transit to the Sea” and “Planning for a Racially Diverse America” (Urban Land 2005, 2006, 2010, and 2011).

Hart's feature films include Flyers in Search of a Dream(PBS) and Dark Passages(BET), a film  about the Atlantic slave trade. Hart also co-produced and co-wrote the 3-hour syndicated radio documentary Ray Charles: The Music Lives On, as well as a syndicated daily radio feature, “Hart Moments.” Philip Hart resides in Los Angeles with his wife and business partner, Tanya Hart, and their family. Hart's businesses include Hart Realty Advisors, Inc., NCNvision, LLC, Flying Free Films, LLC., and Tanya Hart Consulting, Inc.

Help continue the legacy of Rachel B. Noel by making a gift to the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship.

Give Now

We are looking for nominations for the Hope for the Future Award. We are also accepting application for the Rachel B. Noel Scholarship.

Award Nominations Scholarship Application

More Event Information

For more information about the Noel community event and other events, click here.