Remembering USI Leader, Byron Wright

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Headshot of Byron Wright, n.d. Source: University Photographs (UP 10227).

Headshot of Byron Wright, n.d. Source: University Photographs (UP 10227).

Throughout USI history, many men and women helped to shape, lead this prodigious university into the future, and created what we see today. This past week, we lost one of those leaders:  Bryon Wright.

Born in Matthews, Indiana, on September 25, 1929, Wright began his educational career at Ball State University. He graduated with his bachelors in education and master’s in business administration. Wright worked a school educator in his hometown and Muncie, Indiana until he started his academic career at Ball State (Browning genealogy database, 2018). Eventually, Wright would hear about a new university forming in Evansville, peaking his curiosity.

Wright recalls the moments leading up to interviewing and receiving his position at ISUE:

“The first time I heard about a new university in Evansville was Palm Sunday, April 11, 1965, while attending an Indiana Business Officers meeting at Notre Dame. […] At a reception that evening, the business officer of Evansville College (University of Evansville) told a group of us that Indiana State University was going to start a campus in Evansville. He also that this would possibly have a negative effect for Evansville College. I didn’t give this much though since I was worried about getting back to Muncie the next day. Then in the latter part of July 1967, a colleague at Ball State told me that he has placed my name in the hat for the position of business manager of the Evansville Campus of ISU. I still didn’t know much about the Evansville campus. Later, David Rice called asking if I would be interested. I then interviewed with Dave and later with Ken Moulton, vice president and treasurer of ISU in Terre Haute. […] I was employed to start at Evansville on September 1, 1967” (Wright, 2018).

Byron Wright giving Mary Lue Ruessler, secretary of Business Affairs, her certificate of appreciation, n.d. Source: University Photographs 02663.

Byron Wright giving Mary Lue Ruessler, secretary of Business Affairs, her certificate of appreciation, n.d. Source: University Photographs 02663.

During his tenure, Wright worked for the creation of USI’s independence from ISUE and served as Vice-President of Business Affairs until his retirement in 1995 (Evansville Courier and Press, 2018). In recognition of Wright’s work at USI, he is forever immortalized with the renaming of the administration building: Byron C. Wright Administration Building.

Reference

Browning genealogy database. (2018). Wright, Byron Courtney. Retrieved from http://browning.evpl.org/

Evansville Courier and Press (2018, April 30). Wright, Byron Courtney. Retrieved from http://obits.courierpress.com/obituaries/courierpress/obituary.aspx?n=byron-wright&pid=188870633&fhid=10665

Wright, B. (2018). More than one building. Retrieved from https://www.usi.edu/1965/memories/early-yrs.asp

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