Bruce Arthur Smith – Leaving a Legacy

September 13, 2016

‌‌Bruce Arthur SmithIn 2013, Bruce Arthur Smith, C’63, responding to his 50th class reunion fundraising effort, set up a $50,000 charitable gift annuity. He was attracted to this gift type -- that gives money back --having just cashed in a bond that was a "crappy performer." Smith attended his 50th reunion and enjoyed reconnecting with classmates./media/university-advancement/brucesmith.jpg

A little over a year later, Smith died, after a bout of cancer. When his estate was settled, this lawyer, artist, designer, and stalwart Episcopalian had given Sewanee an additional $825,000.

Hailing from Webster Grove, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, Smith came to Sewanee in 1959. As a student, he was a member of the Purple Masque and the Pre-Law Society. He wrote for the Sewanee Purple student newspaper, sang in the choir, and was a sacristan. After Sewanee, he attended Vanderbilt Law School and earned the J.D. in 1966. He served a stint with the US Navy, where he did a tour on the aircraft carrier, the USS America, as a First Lieutenant. Smith then began his lifelong career as an attorney.

Throughout his life, Smith was interested in art and he pursued painting as a hobby. He spent the last decade of his life in Lake Lure, North Carolina where he continued to enjoy painting and the arts and where he was active at Church of the Transfiguration, serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and as a spiritual volunteer for hospice.

Love of Sewanee was also a lifelong trait. Smith quietly supported Sewanee with gifts to the Sewanee Fund for many years. At his 50th reunion, the charitable gift annuity instrument allowed Smith to continue that support via a planned giving instrument that pays the donor life income. Then, in his estate plans, Smith provided an incredibly generous gift to his alma mater. For more information on charitable gift annuities or other ways to make a planned gift, contact Allison Cardwell at