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Called to Glory: George Wright

Dean of Concordia University Irvine’s School of Business & Economics, George Wright, Dies at 69.

George Wright

IRVINE, CA, March 8, 2024 — Concordia University Irvine announced the passing of George Wright, Dean of the School of Business & Economics, on Monday, March 4. 

Dean Wright will be remembered for his selfless service to students and faculty in the School of Business & Economics, leading the school's programs to become internationally accredited, and connecting Concordia to local businesses and entrepreneurial groups.

Wright came to Concordia University Irvine as an adjunct faculty member in 2004 and was named Administrative Dean and Assistant Professor of Business in 2008. He was named as Dean in 2019. Dean Wright was on sabbatical at the time of his passing. 

Dr. Michael Thomas, President of Concordia University Irvine, reflected on this loss: “Dean Wright was an exemplary leader who prioritized the student experience above everything else. To the chagrin of some of his academic colleagues, he delighted in calling students 'customers,' as a nod to their investment in their education. Yet, he never saw his interactions with students as transactions… in fact, he was one of the most kind-hearted, devoted, and joyful faculty at Concordia. He could light up a room, whether filled with students, staff, or faculty. His presence and spirit will be gravely missed on campus and beyond. Yet, as a community of Christians, we rejoice this day, as we know with certainty that he is with his Lord this day and forever!”

Prior to entering higher education, Wright, who was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), held leadership positions in strategic planning, accounting, and information technology in the global mining industry for more than 30 years with companies such as U.S. Borax Inc./Rio Tinto. He served in a variety of senior leadership boards and committees at the University, and he worked with the business deans of other Orange County universities on joint efforts for research and entrepreneurial  opportunities for business students. Wright earned his graduate degrees, a Master of Science in Accountancy, and an MBA in Finance from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) after earning his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, also from CSUF. Wright’s work in costing, accounting information systems, and international accounting standards has also been published.

Wright served as a presenter at information technology conferences and was a certified Zenger-Miller Facilitator/Trainer focusing on leadership development, change management, and team building. He was active in several local business associations, including Asian Women Entrepreneurs, Barnabas Group, Tech Coast Venture Network, and he was a founding member of the Southern California Celebrates Entrepreneurs group. Wright served in several volunteer leadership roles in the community, such as the Supervisory Committee of the Board of Directors for one of the largest credit unions in the country, Region 8 President of the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and as Church Council President at the Lutheran congregation where he and his wife worship

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