Release Date: June 18, 2001
Memorial Gift Honors Donor, ASU ROTC Cadets
When Mrs. Lois Wright died in September, she left a legacy that will soar with the eagles.
Because of her interest in flying as well as her long-time association with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Angelo State University, she donated her entire estate to the university to provide scholarships for the cadets enrolled in Detachment 847.
Mrs. Wright died Sept. 11 at the age of 82, having lived since 1955 in San Angelo. The estate gift, which included her house, came to more than $393,000 and was added to the J.C. (Chuck) Wright and Lois Wright Scholarship that she had originally established in 1985 in memory of her husband.
Mrs. Wright was a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Austin during World War II. She became associated with AFROTC Detachment 847 at ASU in the early 1980s when she visited ASU to hear a lecture by Col. Joe Engle, a NASA astronaut. After that she started attending university ROTC functions, an interest she maintained until her passing. Her support of Detachment 847 also extended to the Arnold Air Society Robert G. Carr Squadron and the Angel Flight/Silver Wings Chapter as well as to the two local Air Force Junior ROTC units.
Col. David Bell, who commands Detachment 847, said, "Mrs. Wright was an avid supporter of our program. She always attended events involving our cadets, including parades, commissioning ceremonies, award presentations and banquets."
Additionally, she hosted many of the cadets in her home, even allowing some who were far from home to stay with her during the holiday breaks. In return, the cadets always gave her an honored place at their functions and even helped her with house and yard work as she grew older. After the cadets graduated, she stayed in contact with them as they began their Air Force careers around the world.
"Her gift," said Col. Bell, "will help give flight to the Air Force careers of future ASU ROTC cadets."
Cadets who are classified as sophomores, juniors or seniors and who maintain a 2.75 grade point average are eligible for the scholarships. This year Detachment 847 awarded 10 $1,000 scholarships from the endowment to cadets.
Mrs. Wright's interests in ROTC and the Air Force carried through in her service on the Military Affairs Committee of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. However, she was multidimensional with varied interests as reflected in her membership in the San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council, Victory Study Club, Historic San Angelo, Inc., San Angelo Symphony Guild Board and San Angelo Garden Club. She helped start the San Angelo Civic Ballet.
She graduated from Boyd High School in McKinney and then worked in Austin for many years with the Texas Legislature and the Texas Board of Education. She assisted Austin's Reagan High School with youth and government programs, an interest she continued with Central High School after she moved to San Angelo.
She married J.C. (Chuck) Wright of Carter, Okla., in 1947. He died in 1982. Though they had no children, she considered the cadets as family.
As one cadet, Nancy Morin, said, "She leaves behind a large number of former and current cadets who have had the honor of working with such an enthusiastic lady and a very proud American citizen."