The Council for Advancement and Support of Education announced today the new Charles A. Wright Opportunity and Inclusion Leadership Award as part of its 2020 District II Achievement Awards program.
Named in recognition of TCNJ’s associate vice president for development and alumni engagement — known to all on campus as Chuck — the award acknowledges his efforts to identify, recruit, and retain minority professionals in the advancement field.
For Wright, the award is more than honor; it serves to highlight what he feels is his ongoing duty to his colleagues and to the profession.
“When I got into the business, I didn’t see anyone like me: a gay black man,” he says. “There were no mentors of color. As I was able to move up in my career, I knew it was my responsibility to be that mentor.”
Wright turned his focus toward his professional organization and starting being the change he wanted to see.
“CASE District II has a history of developing and supporting under-represented minority professionals working in educational advancement. Chuck Wright has been at the forefront of these efforts for nearly two decades,” says Lisa Grider, District II chair.
For Brigette Bryant, vice president of development and alumni relations at Arcadia University and chair of Opportunities and Inclusion at CASE, Wright offered invaluable assistance when she asked him how she might better serve others in her field in similar fashion.
“Like a good advocate would, he made a path for me as he has done for countless others throughout his career,” she says. “Opportunity can often be elusive, access even more difficult, but when Chuck is a champion, all things are possible.”
Wright remains humble about the honor, but motivated in continuing to move the dial on diversity and inclusion in his profession.
“I hope I’ve encouraged others who look like me to think about advancement as their career — seeing me as a board member and chair, as chair of a conference — and to know that there’s a place for them in the profession and at CASE,” he says.
“Chuck’s tireless work ethic and passion for the job — and the people he works with — are second-to-none,” says John P. Donohue, vice president for college advancement at TCNJ. “His commitment to introducing, mentoring and advancing a broad spectrum of individuals to the profession is a true gift to the field. We’re proud to have him on our team.”
All CASE District II current members are eligible for the award. Nominations are due by Oct. 11, and winners will be announced at the annual conference Feb. 23-25, 2020 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Learn more about the award and submit a nomination here.