Student Life Dean
by Kaitlyn Patrick - Aug. 17, 2015
On a daily basis, as the dean of student life, Leroy Wright has the ability to impact students’ lives as they shuffle in and out of his Ferris State University office.
Wright was a Ferris alumnus prior to his return as an employee in 2002. Throughout his time as an employee, he has earned several awards, including: the Distinguished Staff Award, in 2005; the Distinguished Team Award, in 2006; and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award, in 2011. Wright’s crossover experience from student to employee has helped him emerge as a role model to many students over the years.
He takes that role seriously.
“The first thing I say when I have conversations with students is, ‘Make good decisions. Your actions speak for you.’” He said. “I also tell them that, ‘Ethics is going to be a part of all aspects of your life. Why not practice that now?’” he added.
Wright inspires students to think outside of the box and to find a deeper meaning or purpose as they become more actively involved on campus and meet a diverse range of people. He believes that this ultimately challenges students to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a part of an ethical community.
“I think that there are opportunities to learn from the differences in opinions and ideas, and being able to respect those things,” Wright said. “This position is an opportunity for me to encourage and model that behavior.”
While the primary goal of the university experience is for students to strengthen
their education in the classroom, Wright has put an emphasis on encouraging students
to leave a positive legacy as they leave Ferris, as students. His work, as well as
the work of others, is geared to help students discover the tools that will make them
happy and healthy students and student leaders with a desire to help others. His desire
is to see a community of student leaders at Ferris.
Wright sees young men and young women when he sees and engages students.
“I try to remember to treat our students like adults, but understand that they’re still growing, maturing and learning,” he said. “So, we as educators have to be educators all the time. I have to make sure to listen to students and guide them by giving them the tools that are going to set themselves up for success.”
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