Ribbon cut on Wright Center

April 24, 2014

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Ribbon Cutting

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — A special grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on April 23 for the Robert and James Wright Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students.

The center, located in Room 322 in Royce Hall, offers a designated space for those students in search of resources, to study and a place to relax. Its mission is to enhance the educational and interpersonal experiences of non-traditional and veteran students while supporting degree attainment.

The namesakes for the center are the late Robert “Bob” Wright and his brother, James Wright.

“We both recognized UW-Platteville gave us a wonderful education and a wonderful start on our lives,” said James. “We also shared a concern about providing opportunities for veterans. I’ve been working on providing support to veterans to continue with their education for the last decade and I’m delighted to see the strength of the program here, and the number of veterans who are enrolled at UW-Platteville. Last November, when I had my last visit with my brother, Bob, I was able to tell him about this pending gift. He was deeply moved and very pleased to know there would be a gift here in his name and my name associated with something supporting veterans.”

Robert joined the United States Navy upon graduation from Galena (Ill.) High School in 1960. He served as a fire control technician on the destroyer, U.S.S. Charles H. Roan.

Robert spent most of his career working for John Deere in Davenport, Iowa, leading a division. He graduated from Wisconsin State University-Platteville in 1967 with a degree in mathematics. Robert passed away in 2013, shortly after the center’s name was announced.

James enlisted in the Marine Corps for three years when he was 17 years old. He was discharged at the rank of lance corporal.

James earned a bachelor’s degree from Wisconsin State University-Platteville in 1964 and a master’s and doctoral degree in history from UW-Madison. He is president emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock professor of history at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He served as president from 1998 until June 2009.

“The Wright Center will collaborate with the university community to provide services and support that address the unique needs and life experiences of veterans and non-traditional students,” said Sandie Brick-Margelofsky, program manager of the Wright Center. “The Wright Center is truly a reflection of the diversity of the UW-Platteville campus. Students, faculty and staff provided feedback on what was needed on campus, and people listened.”

“The Veterans Club was proud to be a part of the planning and input for the Wright Center from the beginning, and our members appreciated the opportunity to provide feedback,” said Austin Dietzel, president of the Veterans Club at UW-Platteville. “We know the Wright Center will be a great place for students to study, find resources and also meet other students with commonalities. As we move forward, we are excited for the many possibilities that the Wright Center will provide.”

The center will be open from 7:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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