Dr. James Wright Obituary

Dr. James Wright, of Hanover, NH, passed away on Monday, Oct. 10, at the age of 83. As he was a history professor at Dartmouth, 

UW-Platteville members will recognize his name from the Robert and James Wright Center for Veteran and Non-Traditional Students, which serves students on all three UWP campuses. 

A Galena native, Dr. Wright joined the Marine Corps at 17 and was most notably deployed to Japan during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. Following his service, Dr. Wright enrolled at UW-Platteville with the hope of becoming a high school history teacher. Throughout college, Dr. Wright worked many odd jobs, including bartender, factory worker, janitor and powderman in local lead and zinc mines. 

In hopes of furthering his career, Dr. Wright went on to earn a graduate fellowship at UW-Madison studying the political history of the American West. After finishing his Ph.D., Dr. Wright moved to Hanover, NH, where he worked in Dartmouth College’s history department for 40 years.

While at Dartmouth, Dr. Wright expanded his passion for learning. He earned multiple scholarly awards and fellowships. He authored and edited several books as well as worked on and chaired committees. He was declared Dean of Social Science, Dean of Faculty, Provost and President of Dartmouth.

Despite his move to Dartmouth, Dr. Wright never forgot his start. He worked tirelessly to make college more available to veterans and military students. It is his work with military and veteran students that inspired the Wright Center here at UW-Platteville.

Following the example of Dr. Wright, the Wright Center on campus works with military and veterans organizations to provide resources to military personnel and veterans hoping to gain a college degree. In addition, help is provided to current military and veteran students through guided access to benefits, such as housing and financial support.

The Wright Center also seeks to provide information to the community at large in the hopes of showing veterans and military personnel the opportunities awaiting them at college and all the available support should they choose to pursue a college career.

It is through this organization that Dr. Wright lives on at UW-Platteville. His personality shines through all the workers at the Wright Center, who strive to be as kind, gentle and helpful as Dr. Wright himself was described as. 

His passion for learning and service has touched the lives of and inspired the many students he worked with, both through the Wright Center and at Dartmouth. Dr. Wright will be missed, but his memory will continue to inspire generations of military, veteran, and non-traditional students for years to come.