Allegheny College Alumni Create Scholarship for Dependents of First Responders

Thanks to Robert “Buck” Smith ’65 and Lynn Campbell Smith ’66, the dependents of first responders now have another financial avenue to follow for helping to fund their Allegheny College educations.

The Smiths, who are from suburban Cleveland, Ohio, have established the Allegheny College Scholarship for Dependents of First Responders. The income from this fund provides scholarship support for students who are dependents of first responders, who are defined as a member of a fire department, police department, EMT department or the U.S. Armed Services.

Robert “Buck” and Lynn Smith have established a scholarship at Allegheny for the dependents of first responders.

The Smiths would like to reach out to Allegheny alumni, in particular those who may know of a family who has suffered a loss, and let them know that this scholarship is available.

“Over the last several years, we felt that we wanted to do more to help the people who have made sacrifices while serving our country,” said Lynn Smith. “After talking with local police and fire departments in our area, we felt that Allegheny College would be the best vehicle to execute those goals. We also thought the extended College community might be willing to add support for those scholarship goals.”

The Smiths have started the endowed fund with a donation that will annually generate about $4,000 for student scholarships without depleting the principal. Additional contributions would increase the principal and the amount available annually for student financial aid.

“We are grateful for Buck and Lynn and their passion for assisting our students,” said Matthew Stinson, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Where would our country be without the sacrifices of our first responders? It seems most appropriate to provide additional scholarship opportunities for those in our communities that are first in line to help all of us. The Allegheny College Scholarship for Dependents of First Responders will be a welcome addition to our financial aid offerings.”

The Smiths also have endowed a scholarship, created in 2015, that provides financial support for rising juniors and seniors who are majoring in economics or business.

“We have always felt that education should be a prime focus in our charitable giving, and Allegheny offers us the opportunity to support that focus from both a personal and philanthropic perspective,” said Buck Smith. “We were especially pleased with the College’s expansion in the field of business.” He added that the business major builds on the College’s strong liberal arts foundation and helps to provide additional opportunities for graduates.

The Smiths have been longtime supporters of Allegheny and have been involved as volunteers in many capacities. In 1996, they were the joint recipients of the Blue Citation, an award the College bestows on alumni in recognition and appreciation of outstanding service to Allegheny.

They also are a legacy family at Allegheny, sharing the Gator experience with their daughters, Julie Womack ’90 and Sharon Brumagin ’92, and Sharon’s husband, Scott Brumagin ’93, who is a firefighter.

Through the years, the Smiths have been part of an enthusiastic Cleveland-area group that has helped the Office of Admissions, from identifying prospective students to conducting off-campus interviews and hosting receptions for accepted students in their homes.

“Since that cherished acceptance letter from Allegheny, our relationship with the College has evolved through several stages,” Lynn Smith said. “As students, we enjoyed campus life, made new and long-term friendships as well as being challenged and mentored academically by great professors. Then as alumni, we were privileged to serve the College on volunteer projects, including the Alumni Council and, of course, enjoying those College reunion weekends.”

They have also remained stalwart supporters of their Cleveland-area alumni association. This support has been manifested in dozens of ways from cheering on the Gator football team at an Oberlin away game to helping to sponsor a Career Connections program that links Allegheny students with alumni in their area.

“Just stop and think about the opportunities you have had during your lifetime,” said Buck Smith. “Being able to give that opportunity to another person is a great way to return the favor. lt’s important to find causes that you are excited about and then support them.”