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Ross Brightwell ’78, M’79 Legacy Spans Sports, Music, Military

Ross Brightwell

Ross Brightwell after receiving the President’s Medal of Distinction in 1998 (Jim Wakefield photo)

Ross Brightwell ’78, M’79, the 1998 recipient of the IUP President’s Medal of Distinction, died March 27. The university recognized Ross for his volunteer service as tour director and announcer for the IUP Marching Band. During his 14 years of service, the band made appearances in the America’s Day Parade in Paris, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, halftime shows for National Football League games, and scores of high school and community band festivals.

A native of Fayette City, Ross was a sports team mascot at IUP and a clarinetist in the marching band. He left school for the Army in 1969 and returned a decade later to finish his degree.

In the 1980s, Ross worked for a private company in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1986 and eventually settled in Maple Glen, where he coordinated meetings of a Steelers fan club.

Read more about Ross’s contributions in the following news stories: