Roberta and Robert Hurd led fairly modest lives. Robert worked as a tool and die maker and Roberta worked her entire life as an accountant, first for American Woolen Mills in Fulton and then General Electric. They were a very devoted couple who were rich in love for one another. They remembered fondly their days in the Phoenix schools where they met during the 1930s.
Roberta was an excellent student and involved in many extra-curricular activities, including archery. Robert, one class year ahead of her, played many sports and was also a good student. They were always together, enjoying life’s adventures on camping and ski trips. They never had children, but both believed strongly in the importance of a good education, thankful for how well their Phoenix school experience set them up to succeed.
Robert died during Thanksgiving weekend in 1992, three months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary. Roberta began her relationship with the Community Foundation a year later when she quietly reached out to establish a scholarship fund in her husband’s memory. Though Robert and Roberta graduated 70 years earlier, their love of Phoenix and appreciation of their education journey left an impression that motivated them to give back in a big way.
The Phoenix Central School District is a leader among local districts in student community volunteerism with some students contributing more than 500 donated hours during their high school careers. Roberta and Robert established this fund to honor some of those selfless students who face financial barriers to college, and to help validate them as a community knowing it came from former students.
Roberta’s love for her husband and their alma mater motivated her gift and that love will live on in the lives of many children who will benefit from it. While the student beneficiaries of the Hurds’ thoughtfulness will not know them, they will surely appreciate their generosity and unselfish desire to invest in their futures. To apply for this scholarship, please contact the John H. Birdlebough Phoenix High School.