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January 16, 2014

Family adds to scholarship to honor Wrights

Gainesville — Even after their passing, Ed and Ona Wright continue to support students at North Central Texas College thanks to an additional donation to scholarships named in their honor.

Crystal Wright, an NCTC History professor and the daughter-in-law of Ed and Ona Wright, recently presented a check for $25,000 to NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock and NCTC Vice-President of Institutional Advancement Debbie Sharp.

The additional donation was included in their wills. Both Ed and Ona Wright passed away this past year.

“Ed and Ona Wright both loved this college and everything that it stood for and tried to promote the college during their lifetime,” Crystal Wright said. “So the Wright family, including their son Ed and my late-husband David also wanted to see this college thrive. This scholarship gives us the opportunity to help students, which was foremost in the thoughts of Ed and Ona, to further the opportunities for students, not only here in Cooke County, but around the globe.”

Ed Wright was known around the college as “Mr. Scholarships” having led the NCTC Foundation in raising enough funds to award more than 12,500 scholarships valued at more than $4.4 million during his 20-year tenure as the Foundation’s president.

In 2007, he was awarded the Community Service Award by the NCTC Foundation for his long list of civic involvement. He was a past president of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club, served on the board of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Gainesville Memorial Hospital board and was a charter member of the Gainesville Toastmaster’s Club.

In 2013, the community service award at NCTC was renamed the Ed Wright Community Service Award.

Dr. Ona Wright began her career in 1948 as an English teacher in the Gainesville Independent School District. In 1960, she started teaching English part-time at Gainesville College. She became a full-time instructor in 1965. In 1973, Dr. Wright became the Department Chair of the English and Language Department and the Division Director of the Communication and Fine Arts Division. Dr. Wright was the first recipient of the NCTC Teacher of the Year Award established in 1987. She retired from NCTC in 1992.

She was a supporter of the fine and performing arts for many years, taught Creative Writing at NCTC and was the director of the Creative Writing Awards. Dr. Wright was also one of the most popular reviewers for the Brown Bag Book Review series and was a poet whose work appears in many publications.

Over the years, five members of the Wright family have taught classes at NCTC including Ed, Ona, Edwin, David and Crystal.

The Wright family has now funded eight endowed scholarships at NCTC and one at TCU. The additional donations included in their will provided funds to award two additional scholarships for NCTC students. These additional funds will be added to the Ona Wright Communication Scholarship and the Ed Wright Real Estate and Business Scholarship.

“The Wright family has been such a major part of the success of the college and the foundation, so how fitting that they chose to include the NCTC Foundation in their bequest to continue to provide scholarship funding to assist others in obtaining their education,” Sharp said. “The Wright legacy will continue to have a significant impact on the college and on our students.”

For more information on the NCTC Foundation, contact Sharp at 940-668-4213 or by email at dsharp@nctc.edu.

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