Grambling, education system mourn

The Grambling community lost one of its legends March 15. Alumnus David Wright, who left a mark in the Louisiana education, passed away following a lengthy illness.The wake is set for March 19 at 6 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Grambling. The body will lie in state until the beginning of services. Funeral services will be March 20 at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Grambling Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the David Wright Scholarship Fund at Iberia Bank.

Wright was born September 17, 1932 to the late James Boston and Mary Ann Wright. He joined the Mount Zion Baptist Church at an early age where he served as the church clerk for many years and faithfully on the deacon’s ministry until his illness.
Wright has been described as humble, effective, demanding yet approachable, respected by adults and adored by children. His concern for the entire community and especially the students in its schools, transcends any issues of racial, school or economic diversity.

From being a seventh-grade science teacher to serving on the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, Wright impacted the lives of thousands of children and parents in his quest for quality education.

“This is a sad time for Grambling and the University of Louisiana System, said UL System President Randy Moffett. “Our former board member, David Wright, was a problem solver, consensus-builder and a kind and gentle spirit. Our board benefited from his wisdom, and he will always remain a legend in our hearts.”
In Lincoln Parish, Wright was a science and math teacher for 13 years, supervisor of instruction for 17 and 10-year member of the Lincoln Parish School Board. There he was vice president from 1992-1993 and president from 1994-2000.

In 1999 he was appointed by Gov. Mike Foster to serve on the UL Board of Supervisors.

He received a B.S. degree from Grambling College in elementary education and a master’s of education degree from Louisiana State University.

After retiring from the school system in 1987, Wright served as director of Humanitarian Enterprises of Lincoln Parish (HELP); an adjunct professor at Grambling State University, member of the advisory boards of the Grambling Family Clinic, Ruston Mental Health Center and Louisiana Tech School of Nursing Advisory Council; Board of Directors of the Ruston Vo-Technical School; member of the Mayors Advisory Committee for the City of Grambling and past president of the Louisiana Parish Education Association.

He is a member of Phi Delta Kappa where he served as past president and advisor to the local chapter. Member of the Lincoln Parish Jury Commission, 33rd Degree Mason and Shriner, Deputy Grand Master of M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Louisiana and it’s jurisdiction. He was awarded the unique status for service rendered as Deputy Grand Master Emeritus.
Wright was the recipient of many awards including the Tom Joyner Alumni of the Year Award in 2003; the Lincoln Parish NAACP Drum Major for Freedom Award and the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity Award.

A successful Lincoln Parish restaurant owner, Wright is survived by his widow Eula Combs; two children, Debra Wright-Colman and Oliver James Wright; and four grandchildren.