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Wilbur '42 and Dorothy Wright

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Clarkson Shapes "Good People"
Fall 2005

Wilbur R. Wright ’42 says his Clarkson education had an especially positive impact on his life. In gratitude, Bill and his wife, Dorothy, have used appreciated General Motors stock to fund a charitable gift annuity with Clarkson.

"I was growing concerned about General Motors’ future performance and wanted to sell," Bill explained. "But I did not want to expose myself to the taxes associated with selling the stock." By using the stock to fund the gift annuity, the Wrights avoided capital-gain tax on a substantial portion of their gain, received favorably taxed annuity payments for life, and a charitable deduction to boot.

In explaining what motivated him to make this gift, Bill said, "I have never forgotten Clarkson, and I always had it in the back of my mind to do something."

While attending Clarkson, Bill, a Larchmont native, lived in Woodstock Lodge, fondly recalling shoveling coal in the basement for heat.

"Clarkson had some really good people," Bill said. "I'll never forget Professor Hamlin, who taught calculus and was always smiling. Dr. Buxton, who taught mathematics, was a good role model for young people. He was quiet and reserved and a real gentleman." Bill added, "We need more good people. There is no better place to shape them than in college. I hope my gift can help in providing an education to future Clarkson students, just as Clarkson provided aid to me when I attended."

As a member of ROTC at Clarkson, Bill spent four years after graduation in the Navy, patrolling the Pacific in a submarine. After World War II, he worked for Griscom-Russell as an engineer and a salesman and eventually retired from Diamond Power in 1985. He and Dorothy reside in New Rochelle, New York.


Footnote: Wilbur Wright passed away in 2014.  This article is published in thanks and admiration to a loyal Clarkson alumnus.