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Hugh C. Wright, Jr. Endowed Scholarship

Scholarships enabled Hugh C. Wright Jr. to attend Bellarmine College, where he excelled in basketball, served as an assistant coach and earned two degrees. An endowed scholarship in his memory, says his wife, Kathy, will ensure that “his success will be shared.”

The Hugh C. Wright Jr. Endowed Scholarship was established in November 2011 by family and friends of Hugh Wright ’75 (MBA ’79) to provide financial assistance to student athletes and reached the endowment level of $50,000 in December 2012.

“We have great friends – that’s all I can say,” said Kathy Wright. “It is just overwhelming. My sons and I, we are so grateful for the kindness of others and for them to want to donate to give a young man or woman the opportunity to be a student and to fulfill their dreams as an athlete, at least on the college level.”

The scholarship was initially proposed by Louisville businessman Phil Gahm, whose older brother played basketball at St. Xavier High School with Hugh Wright. Phil is the founder of the CHAMP Foundation and helped to raise money for the fund.

“Even though Phil was the younger brother, he said that Hugh always included him in things that they did, and was always there for him,” Kathy Wright said. “He wanted Hugh’s name carried on, and in this way, it could be.” She and her sons, Hugh Wright III, 34, and Vincent Wright, 32, thought it would be a fitting tribute to Hugh, who died in 2008.

“Scholarships afforded Hugh the opportunity to broaden his spiritual, intellectual and athletic abilities and to make lifelong friends,” she said. “At Bellarmine, they taught him a strong work ethic, and it was an excellent education for him.”

The Hugh C. Wright Jr. Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a sophomore, junior or senior athlete and is renewable through graduation as long as the recipient maintains a grade-point average of 2.75 or better. “I want it to go to a student who works really hard and desires to have the education. So it’s not just a student who is trying to fly by just to play basketball. I think both are important for the growth of a person – you are well-rounded when you participate in athletics – but the education is what is going to take you through life.”

She also likes the fact that Bellarmine helps students focus on their spiritual side. “I know from our experience that the foundation of faith helps you endure life’s hardships and challenges.”

Knowing that the scholarships will be awarded well into the future is a comfort, Kathy Wright said. “That’s what is so great about it.” Though her grandsons Hugh IV, age 3, and Collin, who is 1½, never met their grandfather, she said, “They will know the positive, enduring impact of his education and athletics.”