YSU Foundation Announces Al Bright Legacy Scholarship

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In honor of the late Al Bright, the first full-time African-American faculty member at Youngstown State University, the YSU Foundation has established a legacy scholarship in his name.

The Al Bright Memorial Scholarship Fund is intended “to provide a student with a passion for the arts a need-based scholarship,” according to a YSU release.

The award is open to full-time undergraduate students who are at least sophomore class standing, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Department of Art. Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and scholarship application.

Bright’s 40-year teaching career at YSU began in 1965 after earning a bachelor’s in art education and master’s in painting from Kent State University. From 1970 to 1987, he was the founding director of YSU’s Black Studies/Africana Studies program.

“One of Al’s greatest contributions to YSU was his unwavering kindness and encouragement to his students,” says Greg Moring, YSU associate dean and professor in the Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Communication. “I would look into the painting studio, and there was Al with a big smile on his face and surrounded by his adoring students.”

Bright was known for his live painting performances, which he intertwined with his love of jazz. His art can be found in private and public collections around the world. During his lifetime, he had 100 solo exhibitions, including shows at the Butler Institute of American Art, Stanford University, and Amherst University.

His accolades include being a three-time recipient of YSU’s Distinguished Professor Award, Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in Black America.

Bright died in October. He was 79.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.