From an early age, Gerald Hubbs and Mary Ann Kopp Hubbs knew education was something to be valued.
Mary Ann’s parents were children of the Depression. Her mother had to leave high school and get a job to help support her family but took night classes so she could graduate. Her father was able to attend St. Xavier High School only by winning a scholarship. “Dad would sit us kids down and do vocabulary drills with us,” she remembers of her own childhood. “Those are the kinds of things that stick with you.”
Gerald recalls his father, Clarence Hubbs, a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, helping to raise money for a new college on Newburg Road. “I was 8 or 9, and I remember he drove us past the site,” Gerald says. “There was a cattle fence there.”
That college, of course, would be Bellarmine.
Both Gerald and Mary Ann went on to earn college degrees. Mary Ann graduated from Ursuline College in 1963, five years before it merged with Bellarmine. Her sister was one of the first graduates of the newly merged school. Three of the Hubbses’ five children are Bellarmine grads, as are numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Although Gerald Hubbs didn’t attend Bellarmine, he’s “there all the time now!” says Mary Ann, laughing. The Brown-Forman retiree organizes and leads courses for the Veritas Society, which offers lifelong learning experiences to those 54 and older. Most recently he taught classes in genealogy and the wines of Kentucky. Mary Ann takes an occasional Veritas course herself, when she isn’t busy tutoring elementary-school children.
Because they had several children in college at the same time, scholarships made a big difference to their family, Mary Ann says. She and her husband established their scholarship fund to help students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend Bellarmine.
“We value education,” says Gerald Hubbs. “So what do you do about it? You can contribute.”
And giving to a scholarship fund is “a little more personal way of donating to the education that Bellarmine provides,” Mary Ann said, because they can get to know the recipients. She and Gerald hope that family members will make annual gifts to increase their fund.
“I see Bellarmine as a continuation of the Catholic education. I hope it maintains its Catholic identity,” says Mary Ann. “We value Bellarmine in our community. It pulls us all a little bit higher.”