Dr. Samuel L. Wright
Dr. Samuel Lamar Wright, Sr., the only son born to the late Samuel Louis and Rovina Deal Wright of Boynton Beach, was educated in Palm Beach County public schools. He earned degrees from the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.
Dr. Wright has had the pleasure of working in government and the State University System. While in Palm Beach County, he worked for the Board of County Commissioners in the Community Action Agency, and in Tampa he worked 27.5 years for the University of South Florida (USF). He became known for his unparalleled ability to recruit students of color to the University of South Florida as its Director of Multicultural Admissions. Upon completing his doctorate in 1999, he served as the Associate Dean of Student and Parent Relations, Director of Multicultural Affairs and Student Ombudsman, respectively. Part-time, he taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Africana Studies.
In February 2013, he retired after 35 years in the Florida Retirement System and was highlighted in the Congressional Record by Congresswoman Kathy Castor for his contributions both to USF and the Tampa Bay community. He is an iconic figure in the Tampa community because of his enduring commitment to students. The legacy he leaves at USF will be cherished for many years. He is credited with changing the dynamics of the campus for non-majority students in a most positive way and because of that, the Black Alumni Society gives awards in his name each year.
Since his retirement, Dr. Wright has become an entrepreneur and established the Dr. Samuel L. Wright Consulting, LLC. Most of his work has been with Hillsborough Community College, where he serves as the Project Consultant for the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service and CDC of Tampa, Inc.
At an early age, Dr. Wright accepted his calling as a freedom fighter. He fought for progress in his schools and continued the quest for justice at UF. In 1980, he was the first black to be elected to Boynton Beach City Council. After relocating to Tampa, he saw a cultural void and founded the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival in 1999. He has held leadership positions in organizations such as the NAACP, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Hillsborough County Government, and Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Association. Currently, he serves as a board member for several local organizations in the Bay Area, including the Community Action Board and the Dr. MLK Parade Foundation, Inc. At the state level, he is a member of the African American History Task Force and a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Directors of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers. Dr. Wright is an honorary member of Florida Blue Key and is listed in many editions of Who’s Who in Black America.
Dr. Wright is a phenomenal speaker and a baritone vocalist. He has received numerous awards for his service to people from all walks of life. He is the father of two adult children: Samuel Lamar, Jr. and Samaria Elizabeth.