"United Around High Human Values"

The Significance of the Berlin Wall Coming Down, Revisited

Istanbul Conference Center

February 15, 2012

Short bio of Dr. Wright

Dr. George C. Wright, noted African-American scholar, is the President of Prairie View A&M University, the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. Offering baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees through nine colleges and schools, Dr. Wright now leads the 135-year old HBCU with an established reputation for producing thousands of African American engineers, nurses and educators. A member of the Texas A&M University System, the University is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service.
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Wright received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate in history from Duke University. In 2004, Dr. Wright was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Kentucky.

His teaching experience began in 1977 as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky. In 1980, he began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin where he would eventually become a full professor and the holder of the Mastin Gentry White Professorship of Southern History. After his first year at UT, he was voted one of the 10 best faculty every year on the annual list of the 10 Best and 10 Worst of 5,000 faculty. He received the top teaching award in both the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, and the top teaching award for the entire university, Lillian and Tom B. Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellow, which garnered a $10,000 prize. In 1993, he joined the faculty at Duke University as vice provost for undergraduate programs, director of the Afro-American studies program and held the William R. Kenan, Jr., Chair in American history.

Since 1986, Dr. Wright has held a number of administrative positions and prior to joining the Prairie View A&M University family, Dr. Wright was Provost and Executive Vice-President for academic affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington.

To his credit, Dr. Wright has authored three books on race relations and numerous scholarly publications and been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants and awards. The Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship earned him a year at Harvard University to conduct research.

Active in his community, Dr. Wright has served on numerous civic boards and is a current member of the Houston Technology Center Board of Directors, the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves as a member of the NCAA Presidential Advisory Group. He is married to Valerie Ellison Wright, a journalist, and together they had two children, Rebecca Ellison Wright, who passed away in March, 2004, and Benjamin, a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Last modified: June 27, 2023