George C. Wright received his bachelor’s degree in history from UK in 1972, his master’s degree in history from UK in 1974 and his Ph.D. in history from Duke University in 1977. Wright’s teaching experience began in 1997 as an assistant professor of history at UK. In 1980, he started teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, where he eventually became a full professor and the holder of the Mastin Gentry White professorship of Southern History. For 12 consecutive years at UT, Wright was voted one of the 10 Best Faculty on the annual list of "10 Best and 10 Worst Faculty.” He received the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences and the top teaching award for the entire university, the Lillian and Tom B. Rhodes Centennial Teaching Fellow, which carried a $10,000 prize.
In 1993, Wright joined the faculty at Duke University as vice provost for undergraduate programs and director of the Afro-American Studies, and he held the William R. Kenan Jr. chair in American history. From 1996 to 2003, Wright served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Texas at Arlington. He served as president of Prairie View A&M University from 2003 to 2017.
Wright has received a number of awards from UK, including an honorary Doctorate of Letters and induction in the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He is a distinguished research professor at UK and senior adviser to the president. Also, during the 2020-21 school year, he is serving as the interim vice president for institutional diversity at UK.
Wright has written three books on race relations. For his scholarly activities, Wright received the UK Libraries’ Award for Intellectual Achievement in 2015.