from The Bridge: Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue
For Jimmy Bent '82 and his family, ties to W&L run deep. Not only did Bent enjoy close connections with his professors and peers as a student, but his parents, Jimmy and Patricia, also have formed friendships with faculty and other University devotees through their many adventures with W&L Traveller. Additionally, Bent's niece, Barbara Bent, enrolled at W&L this past fall.
As an expression of gratitude for the University's positive impact on their lives, the Bent Family Foundation--comprising Bent, his parents, sister Trisha and brother Paul (Barbara's father)--committed a generous gift for the Colonnade renovation. "My family felt strongly that W&L meant a lot to them, and it
was a way to give something back to the University," says Bent, an earth scientist for Chevron. "The Colonnade really is an icon of the University. This restoration project will preserve something that's historical, while incorporating modern amenities that will enable students, faculty and administrators to really grow in the future."
Philanthropy has been a deeply held value for Bent's family, and he believes alumni support is key to strengthening the University for future generations.
"A university cannot grow and exist through tuition alone," he says. "I believe that the day you leave and become an alumnus, you ought to start giving back and establish that spirit and philosophy of giving."