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Honorable Judge Scott O. Wright Pledges $100,000 To MU's Law School

Sept. 7, 2007

Story Contact:  Kevin Carlson, 573-882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For nearly six decades, U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright has profited from the law degree he procured from the University of Missouri-Columbia. The MU graduate hasn’t forgotten humility along the way. A generous donor to his alma mater for years, Wright most recently pledged $100,000 to fund a scholarship and enhance his support for the MU School of Law.

“I was happy to do it. I feel like the University of Missouri did a great favor for me by putting me through law school,” Wright said. “I’ve got a very strong attachment to the University of Missouri, period. My mother and father both graduated there before World War I, and my five brothers and sisters all went there as well.”

Wright and his wife, Shirley, are fellows in MU’s Jefferson Club. Their estate gift will support future students in the School of Law, and profits from a book Wright co-authored detailing his remarkable career in the judiciary also will go directly to MU’s Law School.

After graduating in 1950, Wright began practicing law in Columbia. Twenty-nine years later, he was appointed U.S. District Judge in Kansas City. Wright received the Honorary Order of the Coif award from the School of Law in 1987 and has made regular contributions to the school for several years.

“Judge Scott Wright is one of the great graduates of the MU Law School,” said Larry Dessem, dean of MU’s School of Law. “A member of the ‘Greatest Generation’ who served as a World War II dive bomber pilot in the South Pacific, he has devoted his legal career to the service of his clients, his community, and the public. This scholarship support will enable future generations of students to study at the LawSchool and, in the words of Justice [Oliver Wendell] Holmes, ‘live greatly in the law.’”

The For All We Call Mizzou campaign has a goal of raising $1 billion by December 2008.  Reaching this goal will enhance MU’s ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and will provide broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri’s flagship University. The campaign has raised $825.64 million, which is more than 82 percent of the $1 billion goal. The School of Law has raised $15.83 million on its way to a projected goal of $17 million as part of the For All We Call Mizzou campaign.