Lightbody Legacy Lives On

July 9, 2024

Margie and Bob Lightbody

A legacy gift from Bob ’64 and Margie Lightbody ’64 will enhance sustainable agriculture research and student experience at Traill College

The late Bob and Margie Lightbody, two prominent alumni of Trent University’s original class of 1964, impacted the University greatly through their leadership, community spirit, and philanthropy. The "Trent University sweethearts" have left a legacy gift to the University, supporting the Trent Research Farm and Catharine Parr Traill Endowment Fund. Their generous contributions came to fruition thanks to their daughters Tamara and Deb, who ensured their parents' legacy was realized and reflected their commitment and connection to Trent.

A Meaningful Legacy Gift

The legacy gift has been designated to the Trent Research Farm to bulid a new drive shed, which will provide much needed equipment storage. The drive shed will be the first new building on the research farm - a fitting tribute given the Lightbodys' legacy as trailblazers and farm dwellers. A piece of barn board from the Lightbody family farm will be incorporated into the drive shed's design.

Additionally, part of their legacy gift has bolstered the Catharine Parr Traill Endowment, pushing it over the $1-million mark, thanks to matching funds from Greg Piasetzki '72 (Traill College), a Champion of the Campaign for Momentous Change. This marks the first College endowment at Trent to achieve this level of funding, providing lasting support for the University's students and programs.

"Trent University had such a major role in our parents' lives since Trent opened its arms and its doors to students in 1964. They set incredible examples for my sister and me that the gifts of time and energy can be equally as important as financial contributions," says Deb Keay, daughter of Bob and Margie. "We are so proud of the foundational impact that mom and dad had on Trent over the years as students, alumni, board members, volunteers, and benefactors, and we are thrilled that their legacy will continue with their gifts to the Trent Research Farm and Traill College."

Bob Lightbody '64 (Peter Robinson College) was a proud Trent alumnus, community leader, lawyer, and philanthropist, whose dedication to the University spanned over five decades. A member of Trent's original class, Bob graduated with a B.Sc. in Economics and Mathematics.  While his involvement with the University began as a student, it continued throughout his life; he played a pivotal role in shaping the Trent University Alumni Association (TUAA), serving as a dedicated volunteer, holding leadership positions, as well as enjoying a long tenure on the Trent University Board of Governors from 1972 to 1983.

Margie Lightbody '64 (Catharine Parr Traill College), Bob's wife and partner in all endeavours, shared his commitment to Trent. Margie graduated from Trent with a B.A. in French and Mathematics and went on to become a respected secondary school teacher. Her dedication to the University was profound, including serving as the founding president of the TUAA Peterborough Chapter. Her leadership and energy were instrumental in hosting alumni events, coordinating reunions, and keeping classmates connected.

"The University is deeply grateful for Bob and Margie’s lasting impact and extends heartfelt thanks to the Lightbody family for working with us to determine the best legacy that reflects their lives," said Sherry Booth '98, associate vice-president of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement. "When I think about Bob and Margie and their own farm, I’m thrilled that they will help found Trent’s Research Farm.  Additionally, having their legacy support for our College system and our students makes me reflect on their commitment to the student experience. These two gifts align directly with the full lives they lived."

As Trent University moves forward, the contributions of Bob and Margie Lightbody will continue to resonate. Trent University recognized the longtime dedication of Bob and Margie by naming the living room at Alumni House in their honour. Their legacy continues to be celebrated not only through the physical structures and financial support they provided, but also through the sense of community and leadership they embodied.

Learn more about leaving your legacy at Trent University