Wright Selected as President of Southwest Virginia Community College

Wright Selected as President of Southwest Virginia Community College

Holly Vincent
Friday, December 15, 2017 12:00 AM
All, Community, Employees

Dr. Tommy Wright, Cleveland State vice president for finance and advancement, has accepted the position of President of Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia.

Wright has been employed at the college for the past eight years and has over 25 years in higher education. He currently serves as the vice president for finance and advancement, as well as the executive director of the college’s foundation. At one point, in addition to his vice president for finance and advancement role, he served as the interim vice president for academic affairs during a staffing transition.

 Prior to coming to CSCC, Wright worked for Appalachian State University where he held the positions of director of administrative support services for student development, associate director and director of housing operations. He also worked for Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where he began his educational career serving as area coordinator, coordinator of maintenance services and interim dean of students. He received his doctorate degree in Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University, his master’s and Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision from MTSU, and his bachelor’s in Mass Communications, also from MTSU.

Wright said he and his family set up parameters before conducting his job search. He knew he wanted to pursue a community college and geographically, the Wrights knew they wanted to stay within eight hours of his wife, Tracey’s hometown of Dickson, TN.

 “I was familiar with the Virginia system having interviewed with them before,” stated Wright. “I really liked their chancellor and their leadership at the system level. We loved the mountains and the seasons, and this fitting all of those parameters, it was a pretty easy decision…The team, the local board and the foundation at Southwest is really strong. I think the community really engages the college and values the partnership between the two. I am hopeful that I can shepherd that and help build upon the success they have had in the past. I’d like to help that community transition to the next level.”

“While we are excited for his accomplishment, we are sad to see him leave the Cleveland State family,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President. “We do want to thank him for his eight years of service to this college and community. He has indeed made a significant impact.”

Wright said he hopes to be remembered at CSCC as someone who was always willing to explore all the options. “I think ‘no’ is the easy answer; I think it’s much harder to say ‘let’s see if we can figure something out.’ I always wanted to see what the possibilities were, to do what was best, not just for that particular situation, but what was best for the college in general.”

When asked what he was going to miss about CSCC, Wright said he will miss the community connections he has made, both the campus community, as well as the local community.

“We have made a substantial number of community connections so those will always be there, and that has been enjoyable. It’s always fun to meet people and learn the connections between the community and the college. To hear that they have a connection back to campus, that their sister, mother or brother went to CSCC. I’ve always enjoyed that.”

 Wright will take his seat as the third President of Southwest Virginia Community College on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Photo Cutline: Dr. Thomas (Tommy) Wright, CSCC vice president for finance and advancement, has accepted the position of President of Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, VA. (Photography by Nathan Ball Photography)

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