Bill and Alice Wright Endowment for Education and Outreach

Nov 7, 2011 | Excellence Funds & Program Support

The Bill and Alice Wright Endowment for Education and Outreach was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System  to benefit UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences. Gift funds were provided by Dr. William P. Wright.

Dr. Wright (Ph.D., Business Administration , ’56) has strong ties to UT. A proud alumnus, he has served the university in a number of capacities, including as a committee member for the Advisory Board of the College of Natural Sciences, a member of the Board of Directors for the Harrington Foundation Endowment, the director and chair of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Council, and a member of the University of Texas Press Advisory Council.

After leaving the Forty Acres, Dr. Wright spent thirty-five years as a petroleum marketer, organizing Western Marketing, Inc. and serving as the company’s CEO. During his business career he was responsible for many innovations in the marketing industry, including establishing the first magnetic card retail gasoline dispensing system. He was a member and president of the Texas Oil Marketers Association and a stockholder and board member of KTAB-TV and KWKC radio. He also helped establish TV Cable Service of Abilene and served as its first general manager. In 1989, Dr. Wright sold Western Marketing to his employees and directed his interests toward writing and photography.

In the publishing arena, he organized two books of photographs published by The Texas Monthly Press, Historic Texas and Contemporary Texas, and The Union Guide to Texas Photographic Collections, published by Texas A&M University Press. He was the author and/or photographer for an additional nine books.

His photographs reside in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center on campus and in private and public collections across the globe. Alice, who passed away in May 2018, was also a skilled photographer and her images of flowers and Bhutan have been exhibited in multiple museums. In support of fellow artists they funded the Bill and Alice Wright Endowment for Photography at the Harry Ransom Center, and the Bill and Alice Wright Photography Series at the University Press.

Their son, Mitchell Wright, is a landscape architect and photographer in Austin, TX. Daughter Alison Peeler is an active civic volunteer and photographer in Midland, TX. The siblings each have three children.

Dr. Wright would like it to be known that his love for science was a catalyst for the creation of this endowment. His love of Texas, devotion to UT Austin and care for future generations will also be remembered with this generous gift.

February 4, 2019

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