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W&L’s Trip Wright ’25 Awarded Prestigious Beinecke Scholarship The scholarship will support Wright’s future studies in urban sociology.

Trip-Wright-600x400 W&L’s Trip Wright ’25 Awarded Prestigious Beinecke Scholarship

Washington and Lee University’s Creighton (Trip) Wright ’25 has been awarded a Beinecke Scholarship to fund his graduate studies in urban sociology. At W&L, Wright is a sociology and anthropology major with minors in data science and poverty and human capability studies. Wright is a native of Park Hills, Kentucky, and graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program provides scholarships for the graduate education of students of unusual promise, seeking to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities in the study of the arts, humanities and social sciences. Each scholar receives a total of $35,000 in funding, and since 1975, the program has selected 739 college juniors from 122 undergraduate institutions to support during graduate study at any accredited university.

“Being awarded the Beinecke Scholarship is an incredible honor,” Wright said. “I can rest assured that attending graduate school is well within my financial reach, and that’s an amazing feeling. I’m also thrilled to join a community of scholars committed to pursuing our respective academic and professional goals.”

With the Beinecke, Wright hopes to dive deeper into the quantitative and qualitative aspects of how the built environment influences racial and socioeconomic equity in urban areas and contribute valuable insights and solutions to urban planning and policymaking, fostering more equitable and inclusive cities.

His intended graduate studies will build upon his current research, which seeks to understand how existing public transportation systems may advantage or disadvantage certain neighborhoods in U.S. cities. Wright’s research focused initially on Washington, D.C., and with Jon Eastwood, professor of sociology and chair of W&L’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, he developed a novel strategy of treating the city like a network of neighborhoods, employing a kind of statistical model used to study social networks, and started applying it to other major U.S. cities. Wright received a Gilman Scholarship last May to support his study of global urban issues through the lens of social justice, and he subsequently spent Fall Term of 2023 studying urban politics, economics, geography and culture in Argentina, Spain and South Africa.

“Trip is an exceptional student who brings great curiosity, social skill, intellectual firepower and concern with the public good to questions about space, inequality and public life,” said Eastwood, who has served as Wright’s mentor and adviser since Wright’s first year on campus. “I have been constantly impressed by his diligence, seriousness of purpose, ability to solve computational statistics challenges both conceptual and technical, and the ways he consistently links the results of our analyses back to real-world problems that matter in people’s lives.”

Wright also worked as a summer research assistant for Art Goldsmith, the Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics, after taking Goldsmith’s course The Fourth Industrialization and the Future of Work and Society during his first term at W&L. Goldsmith was impressed by Wright’s passion and desire to learn, and the summer research group’s work led to two accepted (and forthcoming) journal articles.

“Trip is rapidly becoming a skilled interdisciplinary social scientist with insights in both theory and empirical areas,” Goldsmith said. “I expect him to ultimately attend graduate school and make important contributions to our understanding of how communities impact the economic and social accomplishments of persons and how these individuals in turn enrich the places they live and work — his clear passion.”

At W&L, Wright serves as the chair of the Contact Committee, a University Ambassador, a peer counselor, an executive director of W&L Student Consulting, and a member of Kathekon. He is also a member of the University Singers, which he credits as being his most impactful experience at W&L because of the community he has found with the group and the personal growth he has experienced by being a part of the organization. “The University Singers is a group full of remarkable students who value the ability to make music together, and I find that to be incredibly special,” he said.

Between his academic performance and extracurricular involvement, Wright gives his all in everything he does, a trait that lends itself well to pursuing a career in public service and policy.

“Trip is one of the most intellectually expansive and thoughtful students I have encountered,” said Brian Alexander, associate professor of politics. “Trip doesn’t just perform with the best, he’s able to navigate discussions — both in and out of the classroom — with his constructive insights and analytic abilities. He demonstrates exceptional promise to embark on a career as an impactful global citizen and leader, and the Beinecke Scholarship will propel him forward on his already impressive and civic-minded trajectory.”

“The support of the Beinecke Scholarship is a pivotal step in my journey to becoming a leader in urban sociology, and I can’t wait for all the good that’s to come,” Wright said.

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