Robert S. Bryant, owner of Bryant and Sons Ltd. Jewelers and a longtime supporter of Westmont and many other non-profit causes in Santa Barbara, was granted emeritus status when he recently completed three years of service with the Westmont Foundation board.
“Stewart Abercrombie is the only other foundation board member who has been granted this special status upon leaving the board. It is reserved for those who contributed of themselves beyond the expectations of a typical board member.
Bryant joined the foundation, which exists to develop community relations and financial support of the college, in 1999. During his tenure, he was a member of the development committee, and was especially helpful in guiding the foundation in its fund-raising efforts.
The parent of a Westmont graduate, Bryant has been a good friend of the college for many years. He was instrumental most recently in bringing a large bequest to the college from the estate of Virginia Perle.
Perle, who died in November 2001, said she was positively influenced by several experiences she had with the college and its representatives. She and her late husband were supporters of the college’s efforts to build faculty housing in the early 1990s.
At Bryant’s suggestion, Mrs. Perle directed that her $1.2 million estate be divided evenly between Westmont and the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
The council’s share will fund youth scholarships for drug and alcohol treatment at the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center in Santa Barbara. Bryant has led efforts to raise more than $1 million toward the center, which is named for his son, Danny, who died of a drug overdose.
An avid bicyclist and outdoor enthusiast, Bryant hikes regularly and enjoys sports such as water and snow skiing, motorcycling, bungee jumping and swift water river rafting.
He has been a member of a number of community organizations, including the Santa Barbara Fighting Back board, Sheriff’s Council, U.S.A. Olympic Society, Anti-Defamation League, Santa Barbara Zoo, YMCA, Century Club and Santa Barbara City College Foundation.
The Anti-Defamation League presented him with the Distinguished Community Service Award, and he received the Santa Barbara News-Press Lifetime Achievement award in 1999. Bryant was honored as the Westmont Warrior of the Year in 1982, roasted at the All-Star Arthritis Roast in 1991, honored by St. Vincent’s in 1992, and received the United Way Excellence Award in 1998. Additionally, Bryant and Sons was given the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award in 1991.
For more information, contact Steve Baker, vice president for advancement at (805) 565-7156, or e-mail email@example.com.