Records of Robert Herring Wright's Tenure as President of East Carolina Teachers College, 1907-1934

University Archives #UA02-01

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Records of Robert Herring Wright's Tenure as President of E.C.T.T.S. and E.C.T.C.
    Creator:
    Repository: East Carolina University Archives
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers and publications produced or related to the administration of Robert Herring Wright. Materials include biographical records, correspondence, speeches, clippings, administrative records, and other miscellaneous items.
    Extent: 2.0 Linear feet, 3 record cartons, 1 oversize box,
  • Description
     

    The records of Robert Herring Wright include biographical materials, correspondence, administrative records, speeches, news clippings, and other miscellaneous materials. The records begin in 1906 and end in 1934.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Robert Herring Wright, an eastern North Carolina native, became the first President of East Carolina Teachers Training School in 1909. Wright was born to Bettie Vaiden Herring Wright and John Cromartie Wright, a Confederate veteran, in 1870 at the Wright family home Coharie in Sampson County. The Wrights had five sons and four daughters, and worked to ensure that all of their children received a good education.

    Robert, the second son, went on to study for two years at Oak Ridge Institute, and then teach in a rural school for two years before going to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1894. Wright received his B.S. degree from UNC in 1897. After graduation, Wright taught in Nash County for one year before serving as an instructor at the Oak Ridge Institute for two years. In 1901 Wright entered graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in English and History. While in graduate school Wright got a job as a history teacher at Baltimore City College, where he was made chairman of the Department of History and Civics in 1904. In 1906 Wright took a job as principal of Eastern High School, a girls' school, in Baltimore. During his time as principal, Wright did graduate work at Columbia University in the summers.

    Wright married Charlotte Pearl Murphy on December 31, 1901. They had four children Pearl, Robert, Mary, and William.

    The reputation as an educator that Wright built in Baltimore is one of the reasons that he came to the attention of the trustees of ECTTS, who were looking for someone to head their new school. Wright took his post with the vision of improving education in all of eastern North Carolina by training young teachers at East Carolina. In 1920 ECTTS became East Carolina Teachers College with authorization to offer four years of college instead of just two. Starting off with around 175 students, the college grew to 1,000 by the end of Wright's tenure. The college began to offer graduate courses and masters degrees in 1929.

    Wright served as President until 1934, when he had a massive heart attack at his desk on April 23. Wright died in the hospital two days later. This tragic ending to an era in East Carolina's history shocked the entire campus and community, as well as the state. Wright's 25 years as President shaped East Carolina and provided a foundation for what the college would become as it continued to grow.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open to the public without restrictions.

    Copyright Notice

    Property rights reside with University Archives, East Carolina University. Copyright resides with the creators of the material or their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description and date.] Records of Robert Herring Wright. UA02-01. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Container List

  • Administrative Files
     
    Official Installation
    Biographical Information
    Newspaper Clippings
    Statistics
    Correspondence
    Correspondence
    Educational Conference at ECTC, Welcome Address
    Bulletin Volume 29 Number 4
    Commencement Records
    Commencement Records
    Speeches - Ragsdale - N.D
    Budget Bureau Correspondence
    Budget Bureau Correspondence
    Budget Committee Minutes
    Building Committee Minutes
    Science of the State Building - R. D. W. Connor
    Cox, J.D. and Cox, W. E. Correspondence
    Daniels, Josephus
    Edmonds, Rebecca - Administrative Records
    Flanagan, E.D. and J.D. Flanagan Correspondence
    Graham, Frank P., President of UNC- Chapel Hill Correspondence
    Jarvis, Thomas J. Correspondence (with Edward Graham and Julius J. Foust)
    Joyner, James
    Newell, L. B. Correspondence
    Faculty Productivity, Meeting of the Staff
    Founder's Day
    Student Self Government Association, New College Song
    Wright, Bettie - Biographical Information
    Board of Trustees
    Board of Trustees Correspondence
  • Speech Files
     
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Religious Writing, Words and Phrases List
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks, Dr. Turner
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks, Governor Jarvis
    Speeches - S.B. Underwood - N.D.
  • Wright's Death
     
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's illness and death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, "Some of the last words of my husband Robert H. Wright"
    Williams Funeral Home - letter of thanks, card from Robert H. Wright's family
    Resolutions of Respect for Dr. Robert H. Wright
    Telegrams to Mrs. R.H. Wright (Pearl), condolences for Robert H. Wright's death
    Newspaper Clippings, obituaries and articles about Robert H. Wright
    Wright, Mrs. R.H. (Pearl), Correspondence from Margaret Davis editor of Tecoan

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Container List

  • Administrative Files
     
    Official Installation
    Biographical Information
    Newspaper Clippings
    Statistics
    Correspondence
    Correspondence
    Educational Conference at ECTC, Welcome Address
    Bulletin Volume 29 Number 4
    Commencement Records
    Commencement Records
    Speeches - Ragsdale - N.D
    Budget Bureau Correspondence
    Budget Bureau Correspondence
    Budget Committee Minutes
    Building Committee Minutes
    Science of the State Building - R. D. W. Connor
    Cox, J.D. and Cox, W. E. Correspondence
    Daniels, Josephus
    Edmonds, Rebecca - Administrative Records
    Flanagan, E.D. and J.D. Flanagan Correspondence
    Graham, Frank P., President of UNC- Chapel Hill Correspondence
    Jarvis, Thomas J. Correspondence (with Edward Graham and Julius J. Foust)
    Joyner, James
    Newell, L. B. Correspondence
    Faculty Productivity, Meeting of the Staff
    Founder's Day
    Student Self Government Association, New College Song
    Wright, Bettie - Biographical Information
    Board of Trustees
    Board of Trustees Correspondence
  • Speech Files
     
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Teaching and Education
    Religious Writing, Words and Phrases List
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Speeches
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks, Dr. Turner
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks
    Chapel Talks, Governor Jarvis
    Speeches - S.B. Underwood - N.D.
  • Wright's Death
     
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's illness and death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, Correspondence, Sympathy letters for Robert H. Wright's death
    Wright, Pearl, "Some of the last words of my husband Robert H. Wright"
    Williams Funeral Home - letter of thanks, card from Robert H. Wright's family
    Resolutions of Respect for Dr. Robert H. Wright
    Telegrams to Mrs. R.H. Wright (Pearl), condolences for Robert H. Wright's death
    Newspaper Clippings, obituaries and articles about Robert H. Wright
    Wright, Mrs. R.H. (Pearl), Correspondence from Margaret Davis editor of Tecoan


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