Gift Honors Family’s Legacy of Practicing Law

UM alumnus Doug Wright gives back to law school, creates scholarship

Alumnus and attorney Doug Wright Jr. recently made a gift to the university’s Robert C. Khayat School of Law, honoring his father and grandfather. The Wright Family Scholarship in Law Endowment also honors the late Judge Fred Pershing Wright. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Wanting a way to mark the 30th anniversary of his graduation from the University of Mississippi School of Law, Tupelo resident Doug Wright decided to make a gift that honors his father and grandfather, both Ole Miss law alumni.

The Wright Family Scholarship in Law Endowment represents not only Wright, a 1989 graduate of the School of Business Administration and 1992 law alumnus, but also pays tribute to his father, Douglas Wright Sr., a 1972 law graduate, and his grandfather, the late Judge Fred Pershing Wright, who earned his law degree in 1940.

An excursion to Washington, D.C., inspired the gift. In 2018, Wright had an opportunity to visit the Supreme Court just as Justice Brett Kavanaugh took the bench.

Artist rendering Doug Wright Jr. by Jacob Carroll. The sketch will be made into a metal etching that will be displayed at the UM School of Law in recognition of membership in the Dean’s Leadership Council.

“We saw the full court preside over two hearings and it was truly something to behold,” Wright recalled. “It brought home the heritage of the court and what it means to be a part of a system of justice second to none.”

The Wright Family Scholarship will provide financial assistance to selected students pursuing a law degree.

Wright, an inaugural member of the newly establish Dean’s Leadership Circle giving society, hopes these students will use his gift to carry on the legacy of the men and women who went before them.

“This is just my one small tribute,” said Wright, who recently made an additional gift to the Dean’s Fund at the school. “It’s up to our future lawyers to carry the torch farther and better than any of us.

“There are times when a leader needs resources to do what needs to be done. In any organization, the leader must have support to lead. This fund gives our law dean the ability to do what might be right for the moment.”

Dean Susan Duncan is grateful for Wright’s support.

“Because state funds are very limited, we depend on the generosity of our friends and alumni like Mr. Wright,” she said. “His gift helps us offer excellence in education to the lawyers and leaders of tomorrow. I can’t thank him enough for the positive impact his support will make as we continue to achieve great things on a small budget.”

Artist rendering of Douglas Wright Sr. by Jacob Carroll. The sketch will be made into a metal etching that will be displayed at the UM School of Law in recognition of membership in the Dean’s Leadership Council.

After graduating, Wright returned to Tupelo, joining his father in a law practice that focused on health care and labor law. He shuttered the practice in 1995 to the feigned displeasure of his grandfather, a retired judge.

“He was a little disappointed, mostly due to the fact that he liked to come to Tupelo and introduce himself as my clerk with the kind of dry wit he was well known for in the first district,” Wright said.

After closing the practice, Wright developed several businesses and ventures, continuing to use his law school education. He and his wife, Tia, have four daughters and a grandson. In his free time, he enjoys watching Rebel football with his family and collecting Ole Miss yearbooks; he has almost all of them.

Individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the Wright Family Scholarship in Law Endowment can send checks, with the fund noted in the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or give online at

For more information or to join the Dean’s Leadership Circle, contact Suzette Matthews, senior director of development, at 601-937-1497 or