Eleanor Wright

Eastern Michigan University’s Professor Emeritus, Eleanor Wright, APR

For many professors in higher education, their main goal is research. For Eastern Michigan University Professor Emeritus Eleanor Wright, her goal was to help her students succeed.“For me, the greatest reward in program development and teaching has always been and always will be seeing the students succeed in the communications profession,” said Wright. “The best reward is having the people you’ve taught succeed.”

Wright came to Eastern in 1979 after seeing an advertisement for a journalism professor in the newspaper. Within three years, she was an associate professor – without having the required Ph.D.

By 1983, Wright had created both public relations and written communications programs at the university. She was responsible for bringing the internship requirement to the public relations program, helped developed numerous key courses and also helped bring computers to the English department.

Because of her achievements and contributions to Eastern Michigan University, PRSA Detroit honored Wright at the annual dinner on Nov. 3, 2011 with the PRSA Detroit Hall of Fame award.

“I am in my 88th year and I never had anticipated having this kind of an award. It is wonderful to be recognized,” said Wright. “It was such a surprise and I am delighted to be here.”

Prior to accepting her award, Wright visited with students at Eastern where she shared with them her insights on public relations, the changing industry and her history with the PR program.

“Elly was known to be tough, but fair, always expecting the very best of her students – and, as a result, receiving it,” said Lolita Cummings Carson, APR, a public relations professor at Eastern.

Wright has stayed in touch with the PR program at Eastern, even after moving back to St. Louis, Mo. She regularly communications with faculty, students and former students and offers her helpful suggestions and input when needed.

“The lessons she taught me – storytelling, accuracy, integrity, interviewing, copy-editing, heck: even the importance of good spelling – have stayed with me for decades and have greatly contributed to my professional success,” said Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications for Domino’s Pizza. “She’s one in a million.”


As posted in PRSA Detroit’s December 2011 Bulletin.

Our beloved Ellie passed away on Nov. 10, 2013. Please read our tribute to Ellie on our blog.