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Celebrating 50 Years

Stories

A Collection of Stories from the Wright State Community

In 2017, we asked the Wright State family—faculty, staff, students, and alumni—to tell us a personal story about their experience here, a story that reflects both the university's unique culture and its influence on their lives. Please enjoy those stories that helped us celebrate Wright State’s first 50 years of transforming the lives of our students and the communities we serve.

Lisa and Eric

Alumni

We met in psychology class in Oelman Hall freshman year 1989. We started dating and married in 1993. Our 24th anniversary is this year. Wright State holds many wonderful memories: parking in K lot, tennis class, people watching on the quad, the Rat, playing euchre in the bike shop, and the friendships we made.

Andrea Foy

Alumna

After graduating Fairborn Baker HS, I attended Wright State from 1982 to 1987—it was quite an awakening! I gravitated towards liberal arts/mass communications. I received my bachelor's and after traveling the world, I am an author, speaker, and coach, as well as an employee at Wright-Patt.

Mark A. Winters

Alumnus

I began at Wright State in 1979, and finished my education degree in 1984. I met my wife, Melissa Fails. Through Army ROTC, I had a successful 26-year career. My only regret is not walking in a graduation ceremony due to Army training; I might return someday and do that!

Roni Wilson-Vinson

Alumna

I was active in many student organizations. They became a lab environment for me to witness in real life what I was learning in my communication classes. I manage a corporate university for Saba Software. Every day I use skills I gained and it made me a better leader.

Leroy L. Long III, Ph.D.

Alumnus, 2008

Thanks to my Wright STEPP Scholarship, I earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering debt-free. I received invaluable mentorship from administrators like Ruby Mawasha, developed leadership skills through clubs like the National Society of Black Engineers, and gained work experience at Toyota through organizations like INROADS.

Dawana "Dee" Thomas

Alumnus

Wright State taught me about diversity. I remember being one of the only African Americans in some of my classes—that opened my eyes to a world I now know how to embrace. I learned leadership. I went from working on campus to a H.S. principal that serves 2,000 students.

Michael Taylor

Alumnus

Wright State allowed me to experience life on my own for the first time, and helped to shape where I am today. Student life and recreation inspired me to continue with a career within college athletics and recreation. Go Raiders!

James J. Brinkman

Alumnus, 1969

In April of 1964, I was discharged from the U.S. Army and was trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. A new university was opening in Dayton in the fall of 1964 and the rest is history.

Bob Mitterholzer

Alumnus, 1976

I remember the first day of college, business class with Robert Wagley, good times at the Rathskeller, and meeting new friends.

Trudy (Rieker) Cordero

Alumna

Summer 1970: My first class. My degree took 5 years—first generation graduate! Campus memories: dandelions flashing school colors, geese honking overhead, noisy peacocks next door, and no restaurants or buses. I was in the first tennis club and tennis team. I married in 1974 at the chapel.

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