UB Remembers Extraordinary Benefactor

Release Date: October 5, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has given permanent recognition to the generosity of the late Albert Jay Wright, who provided one of the largest private gifts during the university's private history, with the dedication of a memorial on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Wright, who died in 1940, made a bequest that now is valued at $1.6 million.

The new Albert Jay Wright and Tatiana M. Wright Memorial, located at the entrance of Capen Hall on the North Campus, commemorates the philanthropy of Wright, once known as the "dean of Buffalo brokers," and his late wife.

At the time of his death, Wright was a prominent Buffalo businessman, civic leader, art connoisseur and author. His gift to the university was made through a trust that provided lifetime income for his wife and children. In 1972, the trust expired and the remainder passed to the university, which then established the Albert Jay Wright and Tatiana M. Wright Fund. The endowment fund provides support in perpetuity for student merit scholarships in the university's Honors Program and other priorities as determined annually by the university president.

In addition, the Wright Fund, at various times, has helped make possible the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program held in conjunction with Black History Month, campus lectures by distinguished speakers, support for the university's sesquicentennial celebration and grants-in-aid for scholar-athletes.

"We are deeply grateful for the generous support and assistance that has been provided by Albert Wright, which truly demonstrates the invaluable far-reaching, positive effects a gift can have at UB," said UB President William R. Greiner.

"This memorial translates into a meaningful tribute for a magnanimous commitment that has benefited many of our outstanding students and contributed to a wide array of special initiatives at the university."

Wright was born in 1858 in Oswego. His family moved to Buffalo in 1866. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., from which he also received an honorary master's of art degree. A member of the Wesleyan baseball team, Wright suffered an injury during a game that affected his vision and ultimately left him totally blind.

Wright's successful 58-year banking and investment career earned him the "dean" designation. At age 75, he authored the book, "The Red Demon." Active in civic affairs, Wright also was a prominent member of numerous commercial groups, including the Buffalo Merchant's Exchange and the Buffalo Board of Trade.

For information about how you can help support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving