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E. LaBrent Chrite

Maker interview details

Profile image of E. LaBrent Chrite


  • April 22, 2022



  • Born: April 12, 1961
  • Birth Location: Chicago, Illinois


  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Favorite Food: My Wife's Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Favorite Time of Year: Christmas Holiday Season
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Negril, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

"It is Time for You to Start to Develop Your Own Personal Philosophies and Live by Them."
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University president E. LaBrent Chrite was born on April 12, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan, to Betty Williams and Elrie Chrite. With his B.A. degree in liberal studies from Michigan State University, in Lansing, Michigan, in 1983, Chrite went on to receive his M.S. degree in public health in 1985 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, in Columbia, Missouri, and his Ph.D. degree in education and management in 1996 from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

From 1985 to 1988, Chrite held various health care administrative roles at the Sisters of Mercy Health System. In 1990, he joined Rathnoor Company as a health care consultant, and, from 1990 to 1992, he served as an assistant vice president at the University of Michigan Hospitals. In 1992, Chrite became managing director of the African Business Development Corps at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. In 1998, after receiving his Ph.D. degree, Chrite became managing director of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. That same year, he traveled to Rwanda with the World Bank. In 2003, Chrite became associate dean and Gemelli Faculty Fellow at the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona. In 2010, he was appointed dean and professor of management and international business at Montclair State University’s Feliciano School of Business, in Montclair, New Jersey. In 2014, Chrite became the first African American dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, in Denver, Colorado. From 2016 to 2019, he led an initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of State to strengthen workforce development efforts in Afghanistan. In 2019, Chrite became president of Bethune-Cookman University, in Daytona Beach, Florida, and then in 2021, Chrite was hired as the ninth president of Bentley University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, becoming its first African American president.

Chrite served as board chair of the Tucson Urban League from 2005 to 2009, on the board of Junior Achievement from 2010 to 2014, and has served on the board of Gordon Food Service since 2017. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity as well as Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boule).

Chrite received the Educational Opportunity Fund Award from the Educational Opportunity Fund at Montclair State University in 2014, the Champion Recognition Award from Herat University, in Afghanistan, in 2016, the Central Florida Leadership Award from the Omicron Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi and Recognition by the Daniels Executive Advisory Board for Leadership and Service to the College from the Daniels College of Business in 2019, and an award from Duval/Nassau County, Florida, and the Leadership Recognition Award form Alpha Phi Alpha in 2020.

Chrite and his wife, Phyllis Chrite, live in Waltham, Massachusetts. They have three children, Elrie, Adriana, and Jordan.

E. LaBrent Chrite was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2022.