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Wright v. CITGO

Confidential Settlements

$1 Million to TAMUCC   |  The Lonnie Wright Control Room   |    The Scholarship   |   Lonnie Wright    |   The Challege

$1 Million Memorial Gift Honors Local Man and Generates Funds for Equipment, Scholarships, and Technical Training at Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi

WHERE: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
WHAT: Engineering Technology Scholarship
WHEN: Beginning Fall 2002
Dr. J. Tim Coppinger, Engineering Technology Coordinator
Texas A&M University-CC
6300 Ocean Drive, ST 222E
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412
Voice: (361) 825-5899
Tim Coppinger TAMUCC
Tx A&M CC, Dr. J. Tim Coppinger

Corpus Christi, Texas - A $1 million memorial gift has been donated to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in honor of a local man killed in a refinery explosion two years ago. Judy Wright, the widow of Lonnie Wright, is donating $1 million to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Perry & Haas, L.L.P., the attorneys who represented her in a lawsuit against the refinery where Mr. Wright was killed, are supporting this gift by waiving attorneys fees on that portion of the settlement.

According to Dr. Diana Marinez, dean of the College of Science and Technology, "The gift will have a significant impact on the future of the University and its students."

Lonnie Wright Control Room

Part of the gift will be used by the University to purchase equipment needed to develop a technical engineering program that teaches safety control systems to engineering students. The University is honoring Mr. Wright by naming the classroom which will house this equipment the "Lonnie Wright Control Room." A plaque with the name of the classroom and an etching of Mr. Wright will be displayed at the room’s entrance.

"We are very happy that the University has agreed to use some of this gift to train young people who want to enter the technical engineering field, which promotes safety in refineries," said Mrs. Wright.

Wright Family Scholarship

The Wright gift will also fund the Wright Family Scholarship Fund which will provide scholarships for local and area students who attend Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

"There are many students who, of various reasons, may not qualify for state or federal assistance to pursue a college degree, but still have excellent academic records. These are the students who will be targeted by the Wright Family Scholarship fund," said René Haas of the law firm of Perry & Haas, L.L.P. "Lonnie Wright was one of those individuals who was working hard to support his family and to provide them with opportunities to further their education by attending college and his family wants to honor him with this memorial."

About Lonnie Wright

Lonnie Wright, who worked for the local citgo Refinery, was killed when a boiler at the Corpus Christi plant exploded on August 9, 1999. On January 23rd, Perry & Haas announced the settlement of Wright v. Citgo, in which Citgo agreed to upgrade boilers at the refinery to comply with National Fire Protection Association Code standards.

"Lonnie Wright was a student at the campus that is now Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and it was his dedication to further educating himself that prompted his family to use some of the citgo settlement money to honor him with a memorial fund that bears his name," said Judge René Haas, of Perry & Haas, L.L.P.

Challenge to the Industry

At the news conference announcing the gift, Judge René Haas challenged Corpus Christi industry to support efforts initiated by the Wrights to provide the A & M-Corpus Christi's College of Science and Technology with the means to train future technical engineers to strive for the highest levels of safety standards possible within the refinery industry.

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