Judd Wright (‘73) always had an interest in history. In 1971, when Daemen University, known at the time as Rosary Hill College, opened its doors to male students, he jumped at the opportunity to enroll.
Wright, who was a military veteran when he enrolled in the college as a transfer student, would go on to become the first male graduate from the History and Political Science Department.
Recently, Wright had the opportunity to return to campus and tour the department. While here, he met the then department chair, Dr. Penny Messinger, and other faculty in the program. “The history department today is very impressive and they offer classes I would have never thought about,” said Wright, “They’ve really expanded beyond teaching. The instructors have really put this place on the map.”
During his time enrolled here, Wright credits a lot of his career success to Dr Ruth Stratton, a Rosary Hill faculty member who helped steer him in the right direction for job placement by suggesting governmental service. After taking her advice and applying to several jobs, he accepted a position in Mississippi before starting his career in Ft. Meyers, Florida. He eventually settled back in Buffalo, NY and would retire from the Social Security Office in West Seneca after working with them for 21 years.
“The college had a tremendous job placement office,” said Wright, “They were really encouraging and helped students find jobs.”
During his last semester here, Wright went to Stratton with his idea of bringing a politician in to give a classroom discussion on local government for her state and local politics class. He brought in Leo Fallon, who at the time was the town supervisor of Hamburg and would go on to become a Supreme Court Justice in NY.
Stratton is a familiar name around the university as a scholarship in her honor was established in 2007 for sophomore and junior students who exemplify excellence in the History and Political Science Department. Wright has donated to this scholarship.
When asked what advice he would share with today’s students he said, “If you have graduated and completed your education, it shows you have the motivation to do something and that’s half the battle.” Added Wright, “My story is the success story of an everyday academic. There are an awful lot of people who earn a degree that aren’t as notable as some of the people that are written about. My hope is that prospective students realize that you can enroll as not the best student, get a career and go on to have a good, successful life.”