“I have spent most of my life at Ouachita and my love for her and our faculty, staff and students has no boundaries.”
Dr. Charles Wright
Ouachita Baptist University
Dr. Wright succeeded Dr. Rex Horne who served as Ouachita’s 15th president from 2006 to 2015. Dr. Horne resigned to accept the presidency of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities.
“We are very pleased to have Dr. Charles Wright serving as Ouachita’s interim president,” said Jay Heflin chairman of Ouachita’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Wright has dedicated his career to serving Ouachita in numerous ways. He is the ideal individual to help lead us during these days of transition.”
Heflin said Dr. Wright’s “understanding of where we have been and where we need to go will allow for a smooth transition from Dr. Horne’s leadership to our next president. Dr. Wright’s understanding of the Ouachita culture will be very encouraging to all of Ouachita’s constituencies. He is an individual we all respect and trust greatly.
Dr. Wright, who retired in 2004 following a 40-year career at Ouachita, returned to the university staff in 2013 as a development officer. He holds three degrees from Ouachita: a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and drama, a Bachelor of Music Education degree in choral music and a Master of Music Education degree in choral music. He also holds a Doctor of Education degree in music education from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas).
Dr. Wright was named dean of Ouachita’s School of Music in 1982 and served in that role until 1996 when the School of Music and the departments of art and theatre were restructured to create the School of Fine Arts. He served as School of Fine Arts dean until his retirement. Dr. Wright also served as acting vice president for academic affairs from 2001 to 2003 and was vice chair of the presidential search committee that recommended Dr. Horne as president. The Charles W. Wright Choral Rehearsal Hall in Mabee Fine Arts Center is named in his honor.
“While I believe it will be impossible for me to replace President Rex Horne even for a relatively brief interim,” Dr. Wright said, “I am very grateful to Mr. Jay Heflin, chairman of the Ouachita Board of Trustees, and to each of the trustees for this high honor and for the confidence they have placed in me. I have spent most of my life at Ouachita and my love for her and our faculty, staff and students has no boundaries.”
Dr. Wright’s wife, Margaret, also retired in 2004 after serving 35 years at Ouachita. Mrs. Wright, who passed away in 2013, had served as professor of accounting and chair of the Division of Business and Economics as well as director of corporate and foundation programs. The Wrights have one daughter, Kimberly, a music graduate of Ouachita, who has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for the past 20 years.