Tim Wright

“The same fear and trepidation I saw in South Africa amongst the whites I see here.” | Timothy Wright '77 on Trump and contemporary America.

Wright, a CMC alum and lawyer, sat down with Zach and Melissa to discuss his path to CMC, time in South Africa, and insights about success.


Since his time at Claremont McKenna College, where he played varsity football for four years, and graduated in 1977 with a dual degree in Economics and Political Science, Timothy has been exceptional. At the UCLA School of Law, he became the first African American Chief Justice of the UCLA Moot Court Honors program and was chosen to deliver the commencement address at the 1983 UCLA Law School graduation.
At some point in his long career, Timothy worked in every branch of the United States government and worked for Presidents H.W. Bush, Clinton, and W. Bush. In addition to his work domestically, he also served as a legal participant on the U.N. Council for Namibia and was an international election monitor for South Africa’s first free elections in 1994.

Quotes Preview:

“I remember working here during the summer. ... I was ticketed and taken to jail and jumped on by 9 police officers --white police officers -- in Pomona and beat up and charged with assault. Ultimately they dropped the charges, but you know what that has an invaluable impact on one’s psyche and who one is.” (8:19)

"I got 7 siblings, I’m number 6, and I was the first to go to college.” (9:11)

“What I saw [in South Africa] were people that were willing to make a change. They knew that apartheid was bad.” (14:37)

“When they came to the table to talk, I saw the vestiges of apartheid that were like 800 pounds ... on the peoples’ back … and why they didn’t want to give up power, they were full of trepidation about what would occur … but they also knew that what they were doing was not good stuff.” (15:14)