The new Robert and James Wright Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students at UW–Platteville will offer a designated space for those students in search of resources, to study and a place to relax.
Robert “Bob” Wright and James Wright are brothers, UW–Platteville alumni and veterans. Robert served in the U.S. Navy and James in the Marine Corps. A gift in their honor provided funding to name the new center.
Robert joined the U.S. Navy upon graduation from Galena High School in 1960. He served as a fire control technician on the destroyer U.S.S. Charles H. Roan.
Robert spent most of his career working for John Deere in Davenport, Iowa, leading a division. He graduated from Wisconsin State University–Platteville in 1967 with a degree in mathematics. Robert died in 2013, shortly after the center’s name was announced.
James enlisted in the Marine Corps for three years when he was 17. He was discharged at the rank of lance corporal.
James earned a bachelor’s degree from Wisconsin State University–Platteville in 1964 and a master’s and doctoral degree in history from UW–Madison. He is president emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock professor of history at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He served as president from 1998 until June 2009.
The center, located in Room 322 in Royce Hall, was recently opened and Sandie Brick-Margelofsky was selected as its program manager. It is open weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
The mission of the center is to enhance the educational and interpersonal experiences of non-traditional and veteran students while supporting degree attainment.
“Veterans are people you walk by on campus and wouldn’t even know,” said Brick-Margelofsky. “I think it’s important that we show them that they are appreciated.”
The goal is also to help assist non-traditional students (25 or older, married/divorced/widowed or a parent) in making a successful academic and social transition to UW–Platteville.
“It’s really giving them that safety net, a place to come and socialize, to study, and to relax in between class,” said Brick-Margelofsky. “It’s having a place to call their own.”
Brick-Margelofsky is organizing a student advisory board and is also working on additional campus programming, technology training and possible guest speakers.
Brick-Margelofsky is hoping the center will have heightened visibility on campus in the months and years to come. “I want the students to know there is a connectedness,” she said. “They have a place to go. My hope in the long run is to have a non-traditional student association.”
An open house will be held on Thursday, Jan. 30 from 3 to 6 p.m. The Veterans Club at UW–Platteville will be holding its Jan. 30 meeting at the center, following the open house.
An official grand opening and ribbon-cutting will be held April 23.
In addition to the new center, John Mingo has been hired as the university’s new veterans certifying official. Mingo’s office is in Room 322 in Royce Hall.
Mingo recently retired from the U.S. Army and the Vermont Army National Guard after 23 years of service.
Brick-Margelofsky earned graduate degrees in counseling and student development from UW–Platteville.
She has been working for several years as a school counselor, earning specialty training in grief and bereavement.