1 February 2023 • Alums Bright Endowed Scholarship Honors the Blessing of Community By Andrew Wickenden '09
A scholarship commitment from J. Reeve Bright ’70, P’89 and his family pays tribute to the lifelong friendships forged at Hobart and William Smith.
The Hobart and William Smith community has been an anchor for J. Reeve Bright ’70, P’89 and his wife Anne Bright P’89 for the past 50 years. It began with the friendships Reeve forged while wearing the Statesmen uniform and at the Kappa Alpha lodge, friendships that have continued long after graduation with the alums and students he and Anne have hosted over the years at their homes in Florida and Maine.
In recognition of those enduring bonds, the Brights have established the Bright Family Endowed Scholarship with a $1.2 million commitment to the Colleges, supporting financial aid for academically and financially deserving students.
“The Bright Endowed Scholarship will ensure that promising students can access and thrive at Hobart and William Smith, and develop the lifelong bonds with classmates and professors that distinguish an HWS education,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “The commitment of Reeve and Anne to advancing our community through their friendship and philanthropy is very much appreciated, and I am grateful for their thoughtfulness and generosity.”
The Brights’ gift will be amplified through the Anderton Impact Challenge, which encourages alums and friends to join The Wheeler Society and document their planned gifts. The challenge’s $3,000,000 goal will support scholarship and financial aid, ensuring accessible and affordable higher education for academically qualified and financially deserving students, a top priority for President Gearan. Alums and friends 60 and older who document a planned gift of $100,000 or more receive a 50 percent match from the Anderton Challenge; with gifts of that size, donors may establish an endowed fund, therefore providing financial support for HWS students in perpetuity.
During his years at Hobart and William Smith, Reeve found camaraderie as a three-sport athlete and through his mentorship at KA. “The upperclassmen set a high bar for us,” he recalls, “and we also had alumni who came back twice a year and spent a Saturday with us, telling us how to behave and what they expected of us.”
He explains that although Anne is not an HWS graduate, the gift was her brainchild. “I think she’s just liked the people that have come out of the Colleges — as crazy as that sounds,” Reeve says with a laugh. “We have been married for 48 years and she has met a lot of Hobartians who have come through our homes. I think she considers them her friends and companions as much as I do. Last weekend, my college roommate Charlie McClure ’70 called me up. What did he want? He wanted to know how Anne was!”
A political science major, Reeve earned varsity letters in soccer, swimming and track and served as a member of the Student Senate, and as Treasurer and President of Kappa Alpha Society. He was also named to the Dean’s List and edited The H Book.
He went on to a long career as an attorney and in retirement is deeply involved in educational and nonprofit causes. Among other leadership positions, he served as Chairman of the Board of Hebron Academy in Maine, where he is now a Deacon William Barrows Distinguished Trustee Emeritus, and served as Chairman of the Lupus Foundation of America. A 32nd Degree Mason, Reeve is also founding member of the Kiwanis Club of Delray Beach where he has received honors as a Distinguished Past President. Reeve also served as President of the KA Alumni Corporation and is a Lifetime Member of the Statesman Athletic Association. In 2012, Hobart awarded Bright the Life of Consequence Award for his professional and community engagement.
“I was so blessed to get into Hobart,” Reeve says, “and we’ve been blessed to have these people in our lives since.”