DALLAS—Adam Wright, a vice president and dean at Dallas Baptist University, has been elected the university’s president, effective June 1.
Wright, 35, succeeds Gary Cook, the university’s leader for 28 years, who now serves as chancellor.
Wright is a DBU vice president and dean of the Cook School of Leadership. He joined the university in 1999. He has been the university’s vice president for advancement, providing leadership for unprecedented growth in fund-raising, campus building expansion and student scholarships. He has led in academic, enrollment, administrative and advancement areas of the school.
The leader God has provided
“Following a nationwide search, we believe Dr. Wright to be the spiritual leader that God has provided to boldly lead DBU into the future,” DBU board Chairman Gary Singleton said in announcing trustees’ election of Wright May 19.
“Throughout his time in service to the university, he has proven to be a servant leader who is wholly committed to his faith, his family and the vision of keeping DBU a Christ-centered university,” added Singleton, senior pastor of The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson.
As dean and a faculty member, Wright has taught courses in higher education, leadership and global studies, supervised doctoral research, shaped curriculum and launched programs. He has led domestic and international travel study courses and maintains an active role in international leadership and academic societies.
In 2014, Wright founded DBU’s Institute for Global Engagement, a Christian think tank that connects scholars and practitioners to become catalysts for moral and spiritual renewal.
“These are exciting days in the life of DBU,” Wright said. “I look forward to serving alongside an outstanding faculty, staff, administration and student body as we seek to build a great university that is pleasing to God. Please continue to pray for us as we make this transition.”
Wright acknowledged the strong foundation laid for the university—from its earliest days in Decatur to almost three full decades under Cook’s leadership.
“I am grateful for the trust that has been placed in me by the board of trustees and Dr. Cook, who has been a mentor to me and a dear friend,” Wright said. “I pray that in the coming years, I will prove worthy of this trust as we look to expand our global efforts, strengthen our academic reputation and deepen our commitment to serving Christ.”
“Dr. Wright is a true servant leader,” Cook said. “I have known him since he came to DBU as a freshman and have seen firsthand his work ethic and commitment to the Lord. I am so pleased that the board chose to entrust the leadership of DBU to Dr. Wright.”
“Following countless hours of prayerful consideration by the Presidential Search Committee, we were led to know that Dr. Wright was the person who would be the next leader of the university,” said Gayla Crain, chair of the search committee. “Higher Christian education faces many challenges, and we know that Dr. Wright has the strength and vision to face the challenges while continuing DBU’s mission to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.”
DBU born and bred
Wright grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas and knew DBU well. He often visited the university campus, where his father and mother met as students in the 1970s. As a member of Grace Temple Baptist Church, he often attended DBU events and said he has fond memories of those early years.
Wright has graduated from DBU three times—earning a bachelor’s degree, a master of education degree in higher education and a Ph.D. in leadership studies with a concentration in higher education.
He is married to Candice Wright, who earned both bachelor’s and master of business administration degrees from DBU. They have two daughters, Abigail Grace and Katherine Elizabeth.
The Wrights are members of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, where they teach Sunday school and are engaged in the life of the church