Richard T. Wright, Ph.D.
Years at Gordon: 1965-1998
David Hall, class of 1977
I remember the invertebrate zoology lab when we dissected a crustacean. Instead of using crawfish in formaldahyde, Dr. Wright got live lobsters, which we cooked in the autoclave and ate after the lab. Yummy!
Vicki (Johnson) Beauchemin,class of 1979
We were always in awe of Dr. Wright, and wouldn't dare pull the pranks on him that we pulled on Dr. Dent. One day during a snail lab we saw a cup of coffee on the lab bench and for some strange reason thought it was Dr. Dent's. So we dropped a snail into it and continued on with our lab. A minute later Dr. Wright came in and we were dismayed when he picked up his coffee cup to take a sip. Someone yelled, "Don't drink that coffee!" Dr. Wright responded, "Why, did you put a snail in it?" When we answered affirmatively, he drank the coffee anyway. When he got to the bottom and saw the snail he said, "Oh, you really did put a snail in! It hurt him worse than it hurt me."
David Smith, class of 1979
You poked, prodded, and encouraged me until I was performing at the top of my abilities and ready for you to recommend me for med school. I left your office after one little chat feeling both chagrined and challenged--you struck just the (w)right balance. All three of my Gordon classmates who applied to medical schools got in--courtesy of your diligent coaching. You made us earn those letters of recommendation! You made sure that your classes were the toughest we'd face--you wanted us to be prepared to face any and all eventualities. And it worked! I could compare my Gordon education favorably with that of med school classmates from other Boston-area name-brand schools. Thank You!
Stephanie Eklund, class of 1984
After so many years and so many students, I imagine that Dr. Wright may not even remember me! However, I want him to know how much his guidance and encouragement meant to me while I was at Gordon. I know that sometimes he didn't know what to do with me! However, his kindness and commitment to science were an example to me then, and continue to be an example to me now. I learned to ask questions and not to be afraid of the answers while I was at Gordon. I also learned the importance of a caring family and learned to love your wife, Ann, too.
Lynne Bertrand, class of 1985
The month I graduated from Gordon, I decided I wanted to be a writer instead of going to medical school. I arrived in a heap in Dr. Wright's office, full of sorrow about what not going would mean to so many people who had helped me along the way--including him. Dr. Wright, who had been my science advisor for years, seemed not to think the decision itself was so critical. He told me that it was good to work hard in science; it was also good to write well. It was just good to work hard. And then, I'll never forget this: he lifted his (his!) Remington typewriter right off his desk and handed it to me. That rugged tank of a manual, which is here by my side now, took me through graduate school and well into my writing life. If I could rig it up with email I'd be writing on it now. It was my final grade--an A--but I didn't work for it. It was a gift.
Kelly Ilseman, class of 1998
Your love of wildlife (especially birds) and the environment touched my life and has remained with me to this day. I owe a great deal of my staunch environmentalist stance to your teacings. Students in my classes and/or in the UBMS (Upward Bound Math & Science) program haven't escaped without hearing about the importance of lightly impacting our environment!