In Memoriam: Wright Lassiter Jr., 1934-2019

Wright Lassiter Jr., the first African American chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District in Texas, passed away on July 2, 2019. He was 85 years old.

Dr. Lassiter was appointed chancellor of Dallas County Community College District in 2007. During his tenure, he oversaw a $450 million bond election which resulted in the construction of 29 buildings on campus. He retired in 2014 but continued to serve as a graduate school faculty member at Dallas Baptist University.

Dr. Lassiter served for 20 years as president of El Centro College in Dallas. He previously served as president of Bishop College (now Paul Quinn College). In 2002, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council to the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also served as a commissioner for the U.S. Commission of Minority Business Development and as a member of the Texas Council for the Humanities.

For his successful career in higher education, Dr. Lassiter received numerous awards and honors. In 2013, Dr. Lassiter was recognized by El Centro College when the institution renamed its early college high school in his honor. In 2006, BKM Total Office of Texas, a Dallas-based furnishing company, established the Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr. BKM scholarship, which is awarded to students attending any of the seven DCCCD colleges who are majoring in entrepreneurship studies or other disciplines. In 2016, Dr. Lassiter received the national Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

Dr. Lassiter was a graduate of Alcorn State University in Mississippi. He held a master’s degree from Indiana University and a doctorate in education from Auburn University in Alabama.

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