Louis Graham Wright
Louis Graham Wright, a lifelong civic leader of Talladega County, was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1942 where he served until 1948. Mr. Wright had owned and operated Wright’s Drug Store on Court Square in Talladega since 1923, so he understood the need for sound educational programs in nursing when nursing leaders approached him about establishing a university-based baccalaureate nursing program. He was then elected to the Alabama State Senate and, in 1949, he worked with Senator Albert Boutwell to co-sponsor Senate Bill 578, creating the University of Alabama School of Nursing. While there were many skeptics among the physician community about the need for, or even the value of, educating nurses in a collegiate program, Senator Wright was not dissuaded. Despite the failure just two years earlier of a similar bill, this time the bill co-sponsored with Senator Boutwell passed establishing a nursing baccalaureate program that would be administered by The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama. He also supported the additional appropriation request that the University be given $40,000 for the new nursing school as part of its 1949–51 budget. Senator Wright continued to serve in the Alabama Senate until 1953, his tenure in the legislature spanning three administrations — those of Chauncey Sparks, Gordon Persons, and Jim Folsom.