President Watson earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from LeMoyne-Owen College in 1960 and a Master’s Degree from Indiana University in 1966. In his early days at the College, he served as President of the Future Teachers of America and President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. In 2001, he was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from LeMoyne-Owen College for his contributions to education over 43 years.
President Watson began his career in the Memphis City Schools in 1960 as a social studies teacher at Carver High School. After holding several positions in central office administration, he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent in 1988. On retiring from the Memphis City Schools in 1992, he accepted a teaching position at Rhodes College. He was later appointed Chair of the Department of Education and Distinguished Associate Professor. His lifetime commitment and dedication to education were deciding factors when the Memphis Board of Education unanimously appointed him to the role of Superintendent where he served from 2000-2003.
President Watson serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA). He has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of WKNO Public Television Station. President Watson served on the Board of Trustees of LeMoyne-Owen College from 2000 until he was unanimously appointed to serve as Interim President on August 16, 2006. On September 19, 2008, he was unanimously appointed to serve as the 11th President of LeMoyne-Owen College.
President Watson is married to Loretta Jones Watson and is an active member of Mt. Moriah-East Baptist Church.