The 2010s were years of excellence for Wright State, highlighted by the appointment of Cheryl B. Schrader as president; the dedication of the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures; opening of new buildings; and the successful Rise. Shine. fundraising campaign.
Several research centers at Wright State were named Ohio Centers of Excellence: Wright State University and Premier Health Partners Neuroscience Institute; National Center for Medical Readiness; Center of Excellence in Knowledge-Enabled Computing, or Knoe.sis, and the Center of Excellence in Product Reliability, all in 2010, followed by the Center for Collaborative Education and Leadership and Innovation in the Arts (CELIA), in 2011.
In 2011, the Wright State Research Institute led an $11.4 million initiative to bolster Ohio’s aerospace and defense workforce. Washington Monthly recognized Wright State in its Top 10 Universities for Community Service, while U.S. News and World Report recognized Wright State as a Top Engineering School and Bloomberg Businessweek recognized Wright State for its Top Part-Time MBA Programs.
Wright State’s Friendship Food Pantry opened in 2011 to provide emergency food and referrals to students in times of need, helping them to stay in school and meet their educational goal. The pantry also assists faculty, staff and community members in need of emergency food and referrals in order to relieve food insecurities and their underlying causes in the Dayton community.
In 2012, Wright State changed from a quarter-based calendar to a semester-based calendar, encouraging revisions of curriculum and enabling students to spend more time studying the subjects in their classes.
Groundbreaking for the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building occurred in 2013. The building, which opened two years later, helps to create a unique synergy between biomedical research and engineering that has few parallels in the nation.
Also in 2013, Wright State hosted the Ohio Latino Education Summit and the Science Olympiad National Tournament. In 2017, the Science Olympiad National Tournament returned to Wright State for the second time.
The Veteran and Military Center (VMC) opened in 2014, to provide a space where veteran and military students could not only get the support they need to process their benefits but also relax and study. The VMC partnered with public radio station WYSO to create “Veterans’ Voices,” a series of stories on local veterans’ experiences transitioning to civilian life.
The Student Success Center, which features high-tech, active-learning classrooms, writing and math support labs and a rain garden, opened in 2015. The building features oceans of open study space, including broad-shouldered hallways and corners populated with whiteboards as well as comfortable chairs and benches.
Kim Demmings set the all-time career scoring in Horizon League women’s basketball history on January 21, 2016. She finished her basketball career as the university’s leading scorer, with 2,345 points, surpassing Bill Edwards, the previous Wright State record holder, who had 2,303 total points.
Tom Hanks visited campus to dedicate the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures in 2016. He gave a speech to the Wright State community detailing what he would like to see happen in the center.
Not only did liberal arts students have a new building in which to pursue film, they also received a remodeled Creative Arts Center to pursue their passions. New studios for art, dance and music students, an art gallery and a spectacular new entrance were among the changes made to the center.
Wright State raised $167.7 million in Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University, to support expand scholarships, attract more top-flight faculty and enhance state-of-the-art facilities. The successful campaign was led national co-chairs Tom Hanks and Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Cheryl B. Schrader joined the university in July 2017 as Wright State’s seventh president. She immediately placed the university on firmer financial footing and reorganized financial and budget functions for increased efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to joining Wright State, Schrader served as the chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology from 2012 to 2017.
Wright State became an independent institution in 1967 and has grown into an innovative leader in the Dayton region and beyond, capturing the spirit of the university’s namesakes, Wilbur and Orville Wright, who invented the world’s first successful airplane from their Dayton bicycle shop. It celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent public university in 2017, culminating with a special Homecoming celebration Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.