The chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., has a passion for education. His career reflects that passion as DCCCD’s current CEO; he was also the president of El Centro College and Bishop College, both in Dallas.
Lassiter is a distinguished adjunct professor of management at Dallas Baptist University (DBU) and serves on the advisory board for the Center of Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
In addition to his work on the board of advisors for other prestigious colleges and universities, 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 served as a commissioner for the U.S. Commission on Minority Business Development and was a member of the Texas Council for the Humanities.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alcorn State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University and a doctorate in education from Auburn University – credentials that equipped Lassiter for lifelong teaching and service. He serves on the board of trustees for both DBU and Parker College of Chiropractic and is a member of the National Advisory Board for Auburn’s College of Education.
Dr. Lassiter is also an ordained Baptist minister, executive pastor at Concord Baptist Church in Dallas, an author of 10 books and a Distinguished Toastmaster.
What was the best advice you received about getting an education?
“My father told me, ‘If you want to get ahead, get something in your head.’ – Meaning, get an education.”
“In the African-American church and in public schools before the integration era, schools would have Friday assemblies, and the principal would entreat students to study hard and always advance. You have to look out for and take care of yourself.”
What would you tell adults today about returning to school?
“I would start with the fact that education and preparation is a lifelong activity. Adults should adopt a continual learning mindset. In today’s fast-changing world, people who are not prepared to be on the ‘cutting edge’ will be left behind.”
“After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I was asked to teach at Alcorn State College. In my first class session in accounting, the student seated directly in front of my desk was my high school typing teacher. She was earning credits toward her degree. That is an example of an adult working toward advancement.”
“Today, I tell youth and adults that ‘the largest room in any house is the room for improvement.’”
What do you have to say to those who fear returning to school because there are students half their age in the classroom?
“Don’t sell yourself short. Returning adults have experiences to share that benefit the younger class members; and vice versa. Learn from one another. Age is nothing but a number.”
Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and
enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com