Retirees Association

DDN: Who was Ervin J. Nutter? Meet the namesake of Wright State’s Nutter Center

Ervin & Zoe Nutter

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

With the Wright State men’s basketball team about to play its final home game of the season at the Nutter Center in the opener of the Horizon League Tournament tonight, we decided to find out more about the arena’s namesake, Ervin J. Nutter.

The Nutter family donated millions of dollars to causes in the Dayton region, including $1.5 million to Wright State University in 1986 to help build the Ervin J. Nutter Center. Nutter was an engineer and wildly successful businessman who started his life in Hamilton and grew into a benefactor of many organizations.

Nutter was born June 26, 1914 in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School.

According to the University of Kentucky website, Nutter enrolled in the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering at UK in 1934.

An avid basketball fan, Nutter once worked for famed basketball coach Adolph Rupp at UK.

“My job was to make sure the lights never went out during the games. Afterwards he’d pay me $2 cash. It was the easiest job in the world and I got to watch every game for free,” he once told the Dayton Daily News.