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Kevin Wright, MA ’16, on being a first-generation graduate student

September 26, 2014

Kevin Wright, MA ’16, wants to become a university president. He wants to fight for more affordable access to higher education for both first-generation students like himself and anybody who is interested in learning, regardless of background.

Wright was the first in his family to attend college. He is now a graduate student in Lewis & Clark’s new Student Affairs Administration program, preparing to become a leader in higher education. In a recent blog post on, Wright describes the challenges he has faced being the first representative of his family to reach this goal.

“To anyone who identifies as a first-gen,” he writes, “it is okay to be scared because then you have the opportunity to use that fear to your advantage in order to be successful.” Wright believes the obstacles he’s overcome have helped him on his path, but he wants to use his success to help make the journey he’s taken a possibility for more people from underprivileged backgrounds. 

Wright is one of 12 graduate students in the inaugural cohort of the new Student Affairs Administration program at Lewis & Clark. The program was created to help address the rapid diversification of higher education. Wright and his peers are being prepared to meet the challenges posed by these rapid changes. They will join to a new generation of university administrators whose specific focus is helping students break down barriers to higher education.

Student Affairs Administration

David Oehler ’14 contributed to this story.

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