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Kathy C.
Democrat FL 14

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  • Honoring the Lifetime of Achievements and Career of Dr. Samuel Lamar Wright, Sr.

    by Representative Kathy Castor

    Posted on 2013-02-14

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    CASTOR of florida in the house of representatives Thursday, February 14, 2013 Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the lifetime of achievements and career of Dr. Samuel Lamar Wright, Sr. Dr. Wright's desire to help others, along with his achievements and service to the Tampa Bay community is worthy of recognition by all.

    A native Floridian, Dr. Wright grew up in Boynton Beach. In 1974, he graduated, with honors, from the University of Florida with a degree in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences and a degree in Psychological Foundations from the College of Education. He later continued his studies at the University of South Florida where he completed his doctorate in Special Education Administration and Supervision.

    After serving as the first black City Councilman in Boynton Beach, Dr. Wright moved to Tampa in 1985. He was hired by the University of South Florida to plan, create and coordinate student programming for minority students. At the time, black students accounted for less than 5 percent of the student population. He made it his mission to improve student enrollment for minorities. He later served for 13 years as the university's assistant director for multicultural admissions, allowing him to recruit, enroll, mentor and retain minority students, fostering diversity on USF's campus. After serving as associate dean of student relations and director of multicultural affairs at USF, Dr. Wright is now the USF student ombudsman, a position where he cherishes the opportunities to mentor students through the challenges of college and cheer on their successes.

    Aside from his accomplishments with the University of South Florida, Dr. Wright's commitment to the Tampa Bay community has been unwavering. In 2001, he organized the first Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, a multicultural celebration, now held annually, in honor of black history and culture in the Tampa area. Dr. Wright also serves as the vice president of the Hillsborough County NAACP and has served as a Board member with the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. In addition, he is actively involved at the state level as a member of the African American Task Force and, in 2010, he was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to serve as a board member of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Glazer's Children's Museum.

    After 27 years with the University of South Florida and countless contributions to the Tampa Bay community, Dr. Wright is retiring. It is clear that he has contributed to the growth and diversity at USF in countless ways, while also influencing and effecting students on a personal level. While his contributions to USF will be missed, his impact on the Tampa area will no doubt continue for years to come.

    The Tampa Bay community is proud to recognize Dr. Samuel Lamar Wright, Sr. for his steadfastness and desire to enrich the people of our community. His outstanding career and significant contributions have made him an inspirational leader. I ask that you and all Americans recognize such a remarkable citizen for his service to our community and our state.


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