Phillip Wright Interview


Phillip Wright


Annie Pontrelli



Download Audio Interview (78.9 MB)

Download Transcript of Phillip Wright Interview (209 KB)


Phillip Wright describes his tenure at the University of Montana from 1939 until his retirement in 1985 teaching ornithology and mammalogy. He recalls serving as chairman of the Zoology Department and teaching at the Biological Station. He noted the changes in the campus during the 1930s and ‘40s from having a small student and faculty body that was primarily an undergraduate university to the 1970s and ‘80s when the University boasted a larger student population and robust graduate offerings. Wright lists his career accomplishments which include the development of a bird and mammal museum, the construction of the Health Sciences building, and the development of a research program. His discusses his career challenges such as establishing a doctoral program and a master’s program in wildlife biology. Wright also mentions the controversy over George Simmons’ presidency and the faculty’s attitudes towards Carl McFarland.


Oral History


University of Montana faculty; Department of Zoology; University of Montana Biological Station; University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program; George Finlay Simmons; Carl McFarland

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

University of Montana Centennial Oral History Project, OH 270, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 270-056

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (12 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Local Filename

OH_270_056.mp3; OH_270_056.pdf

Phillip Wright Interview