Sophomore named first Dr. Irvin Wright Endowed Scholarship recipient

Irv Wright Scholarship

Jeffny Etienne, a sophomore ACT 101/EOP student, was recently named the first recipient of Bloomsburg University's Dr. Irvin Wright Endowed Scholarship after demonstrating substantial academic achievement from her first year to second year, as well as the qualities reflective of a student on track to become a successful college graduate.

Jeffny Etienne, a sophomore ACT 101/EOP student, was recently named the first recipient of Bloomsburg University's Dr. Irvin Wright Endowed Scholarship after demonstrating substantial academic achievement from her first year to second year, as well as the qualities reflective of a student on track to become a successful college graduate.

Etienne was awarded $1,000 scholarship for the spring 2017 semester.

Wright, former associate dean for academic achievement who retired in 2015, established the $25,000 endowment beginning in 2016 with plans to continue awarding scholarships over the next five years. Wright's professional career spanned 45 years, 38 of those at working with BU's Act 101/Equal Opportunity Program, for which he served as director from 1996 through 2012.

 

Act 101/Educational Opportunity Program

BU’s Act 101/Educational Opportunity Program, coordinated through the Department of Academic Enrichment, provides support and opportunities for success to students traditionally under-represented in higher education.

Act 101 provides access to higher education and support for highly motivated students who exhibit the potential for success, but who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and lack the educational preparation necessary to be admitted to BU.

 

A champion for student success

On the eve of his retirement, Irvin Wright is dealing with a serious case of separation anxiety.

“Today as I was leaving for lunch I started to get emotional about this experience,” says Wright, former associate dean for academic achievement. “I was standing at the elevator and I couldn’t feel my legs. I had to hold myself steady to continue to stand up.”

It’s June 25, 2015. The next day will be his last on staff. It will be the end of a professional career that spanned 45 years, 38 of those at Bloomsburg University working with the Act 101/Equal Opportunity Program, for which he served as director from 1996 through 2012. The program provides academic advising, tutoring, mentorship and a precollege summer program to students who are at a financial, cultural, social or educational disadvantage.

Those who know him well describe Wright as a champion for diversity and social justice; a tireless administrator who without fail goes the extra mile — and beyond — for students.

“In 38 years, I’ve only missed four graduations,” Wright says. “It’s important for me to be there because I know what the students have gone through to get to that point. People want to know how I do this. It’s because I’m motivated. It’s exciting work because I see the difference in students when they get it — what they need to do to be successful.”