- Associated Press - Friday, May 9, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The man who composed the music for the Florida State University fight song has died. Tommie Wright was 95.

The university in an email to staff, faculty and students said Wright died Thursday after a short illness.

“What stands out in my mind is that incredible fight song that he wrote,” said Patrick Dunnigan, professor of music education and director of bands. “It’s musically sophisticated, yet catchy at the same time and a good bit of a challenge to play. It’s hard to leave a mark on an institution like FSU, but Tommie is iconic in that he’s left a signature on our university that will stand for a long, long, long time.”

Wright joined the faculty as a music professor in 1949 and retired in 2008. He composed the music for the “FSU Fight Song” in 1950. Wright taught more than 58,000 students during his time at the university.

“That’s an incredible amount of lives to touch and to teach them about music and have music become a more valued part of their lives,” Dunnigan said. “If you’re in the teaching business, like me, that’s something to just look at and marvel and envy and savor the magnitude of his reach in the lives of young people.”

Florida State recognized Wright with an honorary doctorate in music in 2012. He filled a role as an ambassador for the FSU Alumni Association after retiring.

Wright is survived by his wife Rosalinda, who is the head of the foreign languages department at Tallahassee Community College.

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