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J.A. Wright & Co. Gives $100,000 to Science Center

KEENE, N.H. 4/9/04 - A $100,000 gift from long-time supporters of Keene State College, J.A. Wright & Co. of Keene, and the Wright Fund, a fund of the Monadnock Community Foundation, will support a teaching laboratory for genetics, developmental biology, and microbiology, in Keene State’s new Science Center, now under construction. The gift is part of the College’s campaign to raise $4 million for the facility.

KSC President Stanley J. Yarosewick thanked John B. Wright, president of J.A. Wright & Co., for the gift. “This generous gift will contribute to the success of Keene State’s science graduates,” said Yarosewick. “We are very grateful for the support they have given the Science Center and for the longtime partnership we have enjoyed.”

J.A. Wright & Co., one of the longest-running family businesses in New Hampshire, manufactures metal polish and other products. “We think there’s an important connection between the local and state community and Keene State,” said John B. Wright, president of J.A. Wright & Co. “We want to support the Science Center project because we believe the community benefits a lot from Keene State’s presence. Employers especially need students with strong science backgrounds, which is something Keene State provides through its science programs and facilities.”

The new teaching lab is part of the biology complex, which includes a suite of labs dedicated to the teaching of genetics, microbiology, and developmental biology. The teaching lab will be equipped with extractor hoods and advanced microscopy instruments to enable students and faculty to conduct experiments during class.

According to Ted Zerucha, assistant professor of biology, the new teaching lab will enable the expansion of the number and sophistication of laboratory investigations. Current research projects, such as studying the effects of chemicals, including herbal remedies and alcohol, on zebrafish embryos, will be enhanced by the equipment that will be purchased with the gift, he said.

“This field is very visual and hands-on in terms of studying living embryos from a number of organisms,” explained Zerucha. “The space and equipment in the new teaching lab will allow me to expand these types of projects and enable more students to be involved.”

In recent years, J.A. Wright & Co. provided financial support to the Safety Center at Keene State, which was directed toward the acquisition of new equipment. The company has also provided gifts to the Redfern Arts Center for the construction of the Wright Theater, and to the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery.

The Keene State College Science Center is a project of KEEP-NH, the Knowledge Economy Education Plan, an initiative by the University System of New Hampshire and the N.H. Legislature to upgrade science and technology facilities on USNH campuses. The state commitment is $19 million of the $23-million cost. To date, the fundraising campaign, named Windows into Science, Portals to the World, has raised about $2.4 million of its $4-million goal.

For more information on the Science Center, visit

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