Dr. William Wainwright named 15th president of Southeastern


Austin O'Brien

President-Elect Wainwright poses with the Southeastern classic “Lion Up” hand signal. With him is his daughter Ella Grace, his wife Misty, and their son Zachary, who couldn’t be present for the day.

After over two months of searching, the University of Louisiana System (ULS) has picked the next Southeastern Louisiana University president: Dr. William Wainwright.

This past Thursday, April 27, the ULS Presidential Search Committee held the final interviews in Baton Rouge. Throughout the day, the board interviewed the top two finalists for the president position, Dr. Sebastian van Delden and Wainwright.

Both men were interviewed in public and private sessions. They spoke to the board in front of an audience of Southeastern community members and then were brought to a private room in an executive session to answer private questions. Then, the board deliberated to pick their winner.

After roughly two hours of deliberation, the board announced Wainwright as the university’s next president.

“I’m elated. Totally just thrilled as a member of the community, I’m looking forward to working with the Southeastern family,” Wainwright said.

Wainwright has worked in higher education on the Northshore for the past 20 years. Most recently, he served as the Chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College.

Looking ahead, Wainwright’s first priority as president of the university is to get to know the student body personally and establish clear, consistent communication with all members of the Southeastern community. “I want to dive into Greek life, athletics, all the different student affairs opportunities that really are the heartbeat of the university.”

Wainwright also said he hopes members of the community who are unsure about him take the time to get to know him personally. “To those who have doubts, it’s just a matter of getting to know me. I will be on campus and be accessible, I’ll get to know as many people as I can. I want to know your hopes and dreams and most importantly I want to know how we can help you get there.”

Current SLU President Dr. John L. Crain is expected to retire at the end of the current semester, after which Wainwright will take up the role.