maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



George C. Wright to speak at Lecture and Founder’s Day Convocation at UC


Dr. Wright speaks with his students at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). Photo Courtesy of PVAMU

Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands (UC) is sponsoring Dr. George C. Wright, Prairie View A&M University President, as the speaker for the annual Phi Alpha Theta Lecture series as well as the annual Founder’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service on Monday, January 14.

Dr. George C. Wright is a noted African-American scholar and is the President of Prairie View A&M University, the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas.

Prior to joining Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Wright was Executive Vice-President for academic affairs and provost at the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to assuming that post, he was provost and vice president for academic affairs with increasing responsibilities from 1995 to 1998. In 1993, he joined the faculty at Duke University as vice provost for university programs and director of the Afro-American studies program at Duke University. At Duke, he also held the William R. Kenan, Jr., Chair in American History. From 1980 to 1993, he served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor, and was the holder of the Mastin Gentry White Professorship of Southern History, and vice provost for undergraduate education at the University of Texas at Austin. His wealth of experience in higher education began as an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky in 1977.

Dr. Wright has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants and awards. At the University of Texas at Austin, he received the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, the "Eyes of Texas" Award for excellence in service and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Award for "Outstanding Black Faculty Member." He was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University and was the Friar Society Centennial Fellow for Teaching Excellence, the Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellow and the Lillian and Tom B. Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Wright is the author of three books, which include: A History of Blacks in Kentucky: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980, Volume II; Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and "Legal Lynchings", and the Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930. He was presented the Governors Award by the Kentucky Historical Society for Lynchings, Mob Rule, and "Legal Lynchings", and the Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky. He currently has another book in progress, a biography of Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin: A "Forgotten" Afro-American Leader and has published numerous articles, chapters in books and essays.

Active in his community, Dr. Wright has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the City of Arlington Chamber Foundations and the Medical Center of Arlington. He has also served as a member of the Editorial Board for the Southern Biography Series at Louisiana State University, the Board of Editors of the Journal of Southern History and the Southern Historical Association Program Committee.

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Wright received his bachelor and Master of Arts 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.

The Phi Alpha Theta lecture series will be held in the Correll Science Building Conference room beginning at 3 PM. Dr. Wright’s topic will be “Growing Up in Kentucky: My Life, My Professional Career.” In the evening session, Dr. Wright will address the university faculty, staff, students, and community in their annual Founder’s Day convocation address while remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. The event is slated to begin at 7 pm in the O. Wayne Rollins Center. Both events are free and open to the public.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit