Oral History with Dr. Darrell Walden (RBS)

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Oral History with Dr. Darrell Walden (RBS)


In this oral history interview, professor of accounting Dr. Darrell Walden sat down with Marissa Brown ('19) on March 25, 2019, in Walden's office in the Robins School of Business. Over the course of the one hour interview, Walden spoke about being born and raised in Richmond during school desegregation, his family and their business, attending Virginia Union University for undergraduate studies--including studying under the first Black woman to become a CPA in Virginia, Dr. Ruth Harris, transitioning to Syracuse University for his graduate education, working in Fortune 500 companies, transitioning to teaching, getting his PhD at Virginia Commonwealth University, and coming to teach at the University of Richmond 25 years ago. On his time at UR, Dr. Walden shares his experience as one of two Black faculty members in the Robins School of Business, the struggles of the tenure process, being chair of the accounting department for 12 years, and reflects on his hopes for the university moving forward.

Dr. W. Darrell Walden was born and raised in Richmond, VA where he currently lives. He is the father of two adult daughters and has four grandchildren.

Dr. Walden worked his way through college and earned his B.S. in Accounting with honors from Virginia Union University (VUU). At VUU, Dr. Ruth C. Harris, the first Black woman CPA in Virginia, was his teacher and mentor. One year after graduating from VUU he earned his M.S. in Accounting from Syracuse University as an IBM student fellow. His mother, Theresa C. Walden, was the chief accountant at VUU. His uncle, Robert W. Coles, Jr., was one of the first 100 Black CPAs in the United States. Prior to his academic career, his professional career experience has included work in the Controllers’ staff and corporate tax departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Walden is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Virginia, and consults with a number of firms in the central Virginia area.  Dr. Walden earned his Ph.D. in Business with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he majored in Accounting, and minored in Finance and Information Systems. Dr. Walden was among only 24 Blacks out of 1206 Ph.D.s in Business earned in 1994 (Blacks earned only 2% of these degrees in the 1990s). He is a charter member of the PhD Project—Accounting Doctoral Association. He belongs to Beta Gamma Sigma, national honor society.

Dr. Walden is currently Department Chair and a tenured Associate Professor of Accounting in the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond (UR). While Department Chair over the last 12 years, he has help elevate the AACSB accredited accounting program to national prominence including high CPA exam pass rates. He also teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. While at UR, he has been awarded the University’s Faculty Story Award given to faculty who model community-building relations and world-changing service. He has also been awarded the University’s Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology Award. The VCU African American Alumni Council named Dr. Walden “2007 Alumnus of the Year” for his “Black History in the Making” efforts.

Prior to his tenure at UR, he taught at three other universities including the prestigious Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University in Provo UT.


This oral history is available for academic purposes--including but not limited to research by students, faculty, and staff--by permission from the interviewee (Dr. Darrell Walden). The interviewee maintains the copyright, and must be contacted via the Race & Racism Project (urraceproject@gmail.com) for permissions for use outside of academic purposes.





Richmond (Va.)

Oral History Item Type Metadata



Dr. Darrell Walden


Robins School of Business Room 317,
University of Richmond
102 UR Drive, Richmond, VA 23173



Date of Interview

March 25, 2019



“Oral History with Dr. Darrell Walden (RBS),” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed July 24, 2024, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/3061.