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Generational ties inspire Wrights to honor husband, father with scholarship

A quartet poses in front of a video screen, all well dressed.

Kevin Wright, scholarship recipient Jonathan Halla, Sonya (Wright) Germain and Linda Wright pose after Halla was the first to receive the Scott N. Wright Memorial Scholarship.

The Wright family has ties to the University of Missouri that run deep. When her husband, Scott Wright, passed away, Linda and her children decided to keep his memory alive by creating a scholarship in his honor.

Scott Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Mizzou in 1981 and spent 32 years with Honeywell. He served on the MAE Industrial Advisory Board and supported several capstone design projects throughout the years, among many other generous efforts in support of Mizzou Engineering. His wife, Linda (Swofford) Wright, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1981. Their two children also graduated from Mizzou — Sonya (Wright) Germain (BA, Political Science, 2009) and Kevin Wright (BS, Mechanical Engineering, 2012).

Scott tragically succumbed to cancer at age 55, and the Wright family created the Scott N. Wright Memorial Scholarship. Linda was on hand at the College of Engineering’s annual Scholarship Dinner to announce the scholarship, which went to engineering student Jonathan Halla, and address fellow donors and scholarship recipients.

“We love partnering with students, sponsoring students and helping them grow and develop,” Linda said. “My children also graduated from here, and I love the fact that we can help someone out.”

The Wright family has a proud tradition of farming, with the family even being named Jackson County Farm Family of the Year in 2001. The Wrights also have a background in band, athletics and scouting, so the scholarship is meant to aid Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students with a preference for students with a farming background, as well as former Boy or Girl Scouts and high school musicians and athletes.

“We’re so happy. The first recipient of the scholarship was very much appreciative, and so am I,” Linda explained.

Linda Wright credited her older brother, Dennis Swofford, also a Mizzou alumnus, for her interest in attending in Mizzou. And that combination helped lead to a robust family tradition that runs even deeper a generation later.

“I’m Mizzou Made because I have always loved being a Tiger, my children are Tigers, and my husband was a Tiger. We’ll always be Tigers,” she said.