Syracuse University

News Archive

Newhouse's Jay B. Wright named University Scholar/Teacher of the Year

October 02, 2001

Nicci Brown

Jay B. Wright, one of the nation's foremost First Amendment legal scholars, has been named Syracuse University's 2001 Scholar/Teacher of the Year.

Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw announced the award-sponsored by the Division of Higher Education and Ministry of the Methodist Church-at his annual address to the University community, which took place Oct. 2 in Hendricks Chapel. "Professor Wright has been integral to the success of the Newhouse School for three decades," Chancellor Shaw says. "His scholarship and his teaching are of the highest quality, but most important, he is the faculty member most Newhouse alumni remember from their days as students."

Wright, who is a professor in the newspaper department of the Newhouse School of Public Communications, has taught at the University for more than 30 years. He has written two of the nation's leading texts on communications law and is also author of "The Legal Handbook for New York State Journalists"(New York State Bar Association, 1986, revised 1993 & 1998, 2001 edition in production). Wright served as executive director of the New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference for 25 years and was also executive director of the Empire State School Press Association. He has served on numerous University committees.

Dean of the Newhouse School David Rubin says Wright clearly deserves the award. "In addition to being a scholar with a national reputation, Jay Wright teaches five sections of communications every year to more than 200 graduate and undergraduate students. His colleagues at Newhouse have such great respect for his wisdom, common sense, and ethical standards that they regularly elect him to the Faculty Council, the most important faculty committee in the School. He has served as the chair of this committee more often than has any other faculty member."

"I'm thrilled to see Jay Wright honored in this way," says Sandi Tams Mulconry '75, associate vice president for university communications. "He was without a doubt one of the best professors I had at Syracuse. I took two courses with him--the first convinced me to transfer into the Newhouse School; the second made me consider a career in communications law. Although my career took a different turn, I have continued to draw upon his expertise and wisdom throughout the years."

Wright has given many presentations on subjects related to the media and the law to professionals, academic groups and media groups. He has acted as a judge for various journalistic and research competitions for organizations including the Association for Education In Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Law Division; the New York Press Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Wright holds bachelor and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and has his Ph.D. in mass communications from Syracuse University. He also has a master in studies of law from Yale University's Law School.