Today, the Indiana Wesleyan University Board of Trustees elected Dr. David W. Wright as the ninth president in the institution’s 93-year history.
In making the announcement, IWU Board Chair Carl Shepherd remarked, “Dr. Wright is both deeply rooted in the Wesleyan tradition and far-reaching in his vision as an educational entrepreneur. We look forward to his blending these strengths to help us navigate the rapidly changing nature of American higher education.”
During his immediate past service as IWU’s first Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Wright helped develop Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Sciences initiative, the Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning and the National Conversations: A Series of Dialogues About Society’s Well Being.
Earlier in his career at IWU, Wright led the university’s entry into online education and initiated the regional campus development strategy that helped IWU become Indiana’s largest private university. His commitment to The Wesleyan Church and Christian scholarship helped ensure that this growth was established on the sure footing of the university’s mission of Christ-centered higher education.
Outside his tenure at IWU, Wright was dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University for three years and David and Helen served for eight years as a Wesleyan missionaries in theological education in Haiti and England. One of Dr. Wright’s stated goals for his tenure as IWU’s president is to broaden its global reach.
“The Wesleyan Church welcomes Dr. Wright in his new leadership role and believes his past experiences position him strategically to effectively lead at the intersection of the church, higher education and global opportunities of the 21st century,” said Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church.
Wright earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy Studies from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from George Fox University (Western Evangelical Seminary). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministries from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1977.
Commenting on his appointment as IWU’s new president, Wright said, “It’s a high honor, indeed a sacred trust, to accept the call to serve as President of my alma mater. There are many challenges facing college graduates in the 21st century and I believe with all my heart that Christian higher education is ideally suited to help them attach their gifts to society’s greatest needs.”
“I’m so grateful for the many people who prayed for the Search Team,” said Presidential Search Committee Chair Karen Hollenbeck. “As we conducted a nationwide search, time after time the name of David Wright was recommended. These recommendations came from within the IWU community and from others all across the country.
“As we went through the process, God confirmed to the committee that David Wright was, indeed, the right choice,” Hollenbeck said. “He has a deep love for and commitment to IWU, as well as to God and to The Wesleyan Church. When you combine that with his talents and experience, it is clear that God has been preparing him for this time in IWU history. I am excited about the future of IWU under his leadership.”
Wright assumes office on July 1, 2013, succeeding Dr. Henry L. Smith, who will retire on June 30, 2013.
Pictured in the group of three at the public announcement with Dr. Wright are Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Supt. of The Wesleyan Church, and Dr. Carl Shepherd, chair of the IWU board of trustees.
Dr. David and Helen Wright have two grown daughters.