Wright Scholarship Fund Established For History Majors
Mary Lou Dietrich Harmon ’56 has long appreciated the influence that Transylvania history professor emeritus John D. Wright Jr. has had on her life, from the many classes she took with him as a history and political science major to the intervening years of keeping in touch and drawing upon his wisdom for her life decisions.
That’s why Harmon and several of her classmates decided to create the John D. Wright Jr. Scholarship Fund to honor his many years of service to Transylvania and the impact he continues to have on so many students. The fund will provide annual grants to rising juniors who are majoring in history and have financial need.
“I think we all benefited greatly from being in Dr. Wright’s classes,” Harmon said. “He was also a major influence on me after I left Transylvania. I’ve become very active in local politics, and I look on that as taking ideas that Dr. Wright expressed in his classes and putting them into practical application.”
Wright came to Transylvania in 1950 and became an integral and much loved member of the University community for the better part of the next four decades through his engaging teaching style, accessibility to students, and scholarship that focused on Transylvania and Lexington. Before his retirement in 1986, he authored the definitive history of the college, Transylvania: Tutor to the West, as a marquee project associated with the celebration of Transylvania’s bicentennial in 1980. He later authored Lexington: Heart of the Bluegrass and Lexington: A Century in Photographs.
News of the scholarship fund was gratifying to Wright. “I am so delighted that this is being done,” he said. “It makes me feel like my association with Transylvania has been enhanced by the creation of this fund. Because of my long acquaintance with Mary Lou, the fact that she has been one of the instigators in getting it established and raising funds for it makes it particularly personal for me.”
For information on making a contribution to the John D. Wright Jr. Scholarship Fund, contact the development office at (800) 487-2679.