A Message from DBU President Dr. Adam C. Wright

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Dear DBU Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:

There has yet to be a time in my life where I have been filled with such sadness and grief of witnessing what seems to be unfolding all around me.  DBU has always been a refuge for me, but as I have learned in recent days, this has at times been the opposite for others, especially our students of color. This grieves me. 

I have always held that DBU is God’s University. The heart of our campus beats for the Lord. I also recognize it is not the buildings, labs, beautiful grounds, or other areas on campus, but within the lives of our DBU Family that the heartbeat drums loudest. This heartbeat, that is sustained by our love of and commitment to Christ, will continue even as we recognize that we are an imperfect people, called to serve a perfect God. Though we may often fall short of the ideal we imagine, we will not fail to continually strive and reach for that peace and unity for which the Lord has already claimed for us through the power of His resurrection. It is because of this power that our collective heart’s desire will be to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Though I feel this and have seen it manifest in very tangible ways, we have so much further to go.

To be clear for any and all that have come and gone before, we will not tolerate racism at Dallas Baptist University.

The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have once again brought to the forefront of the American consciousness the continuing racism and social inequality that eclipses the lives of so many in our country. These killings and the reality of the situation has caused our campus community to mourn and come together in prayer and hope for a way forward.

Thirty-two years ago, when Bishop College, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) was closed, we began a special partnership with the Bishop College students and leadership to preserve their records and provide an academic pathway for every one of their students to complete their education at DBU. I am grateful for the strides DBU continues to make to increase diversity among its student body, leadership, and board of trustees. I am pleased with our efforts to integrate diversity in our strategic planning programs, with events designed to cultivate collaboration amongst all our stakeholders, and our work to take a more active role in creating safe spaces on our campus for dialogues about difficult issues that concern our students, faculty, and staff. Though all of these gains and initiatives are wonderful, I recognize that these are still not enough.

On a panel discussion regarding race relations this week, I was struck by a moment of clarity I had related to our efforts at DBU. The black moderator of the discussion, who also happens to be a DBU Trustee asked the question, “Have we made progress in our country related to race relations?” My “professor hat” quickly came on and I thought to myself, how might I define progress if my racial position was not that of a white president? As I reflected on the question, I thought deeply about the significance of race in our society and how it shapes how we define our goals, our work, and our imperatives. I realized how my racial position affects the lens through which I perceive the world and engage my role as a leader of both those who share my worldview and those who may not. The issue of race offers nuanced perspectives on the most mundane decisions I have to make as a president, and it underscores how crucial those decisions may become in the absence of the reality that race still matters. With all these truths laid bare, rendered in sharp relief by the events of the last few weeks, I quickly resolved that there is much more work to be done in our country, at DBU, and in our homes.

In the coming weeks and months, we plan to have a full review of our campus activities and proactively seek to engage in the sometimes uncomfortable conversations to change the narrative of our culture, first beginning on campus and then within our community and beyond. The need for elevated and honest dialogue is clear, and we plan to ensure that our words translate to actions.

As I reflect back upon the following words I shared at my inauguration four years ago, I was once again challenged and renewed to my call to serve the Lord here at DBU:

Imagine a university so consecrated that its singular focus is set on loving God and loving others above all else – focused on being excellent in all things as a reflection of a perfect God. We will aim to be this university. Our future will be challenging. Yet we will face this unfinished task with a boldness and courage under-girded by a faith in God where we can say that though we may have troubles, we serve a God who has overcome the world.

I will host a number of forums/listening sessions for our faculty and staff, students, and alumni in the coming days. There will be a separate forum for each of the three groups so that we can create the space to lament, listen, and learn from each of these groups. You will receive an e-mail invitation to your faculty, staff, and student e-mail account to this event.  If you are an alumnus of DBU and would like to attend the alumni forum/listening session, please e-mail alumni@dbu.edu

So that we can create the safest space possible for open and honest dialogue, these events will not be recorded or broadcasted and will be closed to the media. A family meeting is in order, and this will be our aim. There will be time for tweets, posts, and social engagement, but at this time we need to be able to gather as a family to be a family.

As we move ahead, we want to do so with a spirit of prayer and humility, lifting our eyes to the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. We would also ask that you pray for us and for our nation.


Adam C. Wright, Ph.D.

About Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University is a comprehensive Christ-centered university dedicated to producing servant leaders through the integration of faith and learning. With an enrollment of over 4,200 students, DBU's main campus is located in the foothills of southwest Dallas. DBU offers 77 undergraduate programs and 39 graduate degree programs in various fields, online college degree programs, and two doctoral programs. Get more information about Dallas Baptist University (www.dbu.edu) by browsing our website, emailing news@dbu.edu, or by calling (214) 333-5172.

Written by Dr. Adam C. Wright

President of Dallas Baptist University