Jeff Light, SMU '84
Born and raised in Schenectady, NY, Jeff Light chose SMU because he wanted a smaller school away from the Northeast and because a family friend was already attending the university. Pleased with his initial visit, Jeff entered and graduated with a B.A. in political science and economics, and later earned an MBA through SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business.
Jeff remembers enjoying undergraduate classes with Professor Phil Seib and also being in class with football great Craig James. However, his best memories are of his graduate experience, where he says the “lessons learned from professors, but perhaps even more from fellow students, and the thought processes developed” have been formative in his life. The network of friends and contacts established in those student days continues to be important now, with contacts as far-flung as Thailand and Australia. He stays in touch with Dean Gene Byrne, a special favorite.
Health care has been the focus of Jeff’s professional life—a natural since his wife Natalie is a physician. He is a great supporter of SMU swimming—watching the successes of our athletes along with his daughter, who is a competitive swimmer. He was involved with the SMU Visioneering program in its early years and continues to support MBA scholarships and the Mustang Club. Jeff has developed a deeper understanding of the Dallas community as a participant in Leadership Dallas, an organization dedicated to training a select group of individuals who have a unique interest in civic and community affairs.
Jeff was greatly influenced by his mother’s creation of a scholarship benefiting her alma mater, Syracuse. He has followed this example by providing SMU with an unrestricted bequest to ensure that funds can eventually be used where they are most needed.