Alabama Academy of Honor

Leslie Stephen Wright

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1973.

Leslie Stephen Wright returned to his native Birmingham in 1958 to become president of Samford University, thus climaxing a career that began as a teacher and coach and continued through work in industry, government, and church. During World War II he was State Director of the Civilian Production Administration, and served as an officer in Naval Intelligence. In 1946 he became Deputy State Director of Alabama Savings Bond Division for the Treasury Department. From 1950 to 1954 he was Executive Secretary to Senator Lister Hill. In 1954 he became Executive Secretary of the Baptist Foundation of Alabama.

He also has served on the Citizens Advisory Commission for Jefferson County, as president of the Southwide Association of Baptist Foundation Executives, 1958, as Secretary-Treasurer of the Conference of Church Related Colleges of the South, 1963; as president of the Alabama Writers Conclave, 1965-67; as chairman of the Alabama Selection Committee for Rhodes Scholars, 1965-66; as chairman of the Jefferson County United Appeal Campaign, 1966; as vice chairman of the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, 1964-65. He was president of the Alabama Historical Association, 1964-65, president to the Birmingham Executive Club, 1964-65, president of the Birmingham Rotary Club, 1966-67, president of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges, 1960-63, and served as president of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools in 1968.

Dr. Wright received the Freedom Foundation's George Washington Honor Medal three times and the Vigilant Patriots Award from the All American Conference to Combat Communism, and was awarded honorary degrees by Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

He was married to the former Lolla Catherine Wurtele and had two sons, Leslie Stephen and John King.

Dr. Wright died in 1997.