Josh Wilbur had a surprise for his brother.
On Sunday, April 2, John Wilbur '87, a 2022 inductee into the Bryant Athletics Hall of Fame, joined his family, including his brother, Josh, at Bryant for the Black and Gold Invitational track and field meet. Unbeknownst to John, Josh and the Wilbur family had a special ceremony planned. The family gathered in the infield of the track and unveiled a brand-new, state-of-the-art video scoreboard with John’s name emblazoned across the bottom.
“I had no idea,” says John, whose family kept the scoreboard a surprise until the big reveal. “It was pretty awesome. The Hall of Fame was recognition from the school, but the scoreboard was recognition from my family.” He says Bryant is one of only a handful of colleges in the US with a board like this, and he is grateful to his family, especially his brother, Josh, for making it possible. “This is something that you see at an international event,” says John. “You see it at the Olympics. Seventeen teams came [for the Black & Gold Invitational], and they were all standing in front of it, taking pictures.” The scoreboard features three video screens that can display real-time results and scores during track meets, and it can even display graphics to commemorate broken records and other achievements.
The idea for the video board sprang from a conversation on the sideline of John’s Bryant Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2022. Josh, attending the event to support his brother, privately approached a member of Bryant’s staff to inquire about celebrating John with a gift in his honor. After months of research and discussion with Bulldogs track and field head coach Mitchell Switzer and university athletics and advancement staff, Josh and John’s whole family decided to underwrite the cost of acquiring and customizing the new video scoreboard.
“It’s going to enhance everything we can do as a program overall,” says Switzer of the new scoreboard. “It makes the professionalism of the Black & Gold Invitational so much higher, and we can use it throughout the year in recruiting and marketing our program. We’re incredibly fortunate to have it.”
Read More: Vision 2030
Premier athletic facilities are a major focus of Bryant’s Vision 2030 strategic plan. Investments like the Wilbur scoreboard provide best-in-class resources for Bryant’s student-athletes, enabling them to develop their skills and showcase them at the national level. Other major Vision 2030 athletics projects, including synthetic baseball turf installation at Conaty Park, are already underway. In addition, new baseball and softball scoreboards were made possible by donor participation in a Bryant Giving Day challenge.