Judith La Manna Rivette Makes Gifts That Feed the Body and the Mind
Judith Rivette and her niece Lizzie Rivette ’18
Judith La Manna Rivette is an attorney, an educator, a writer, and a volunteer who gives time and money to Allegheny College each year. But she is not an Allegheny graduate; that honor belongs to her husband, Francis “Ric” Rivette. Judith graduated in 1971 from LeMoyne College, which she also supports.
“I went from being a friend of my husband’s Allegheny College friends to being adopted by his class of 1974 to being nearly a fixture — like the balcony of Brooks Hall,” she says.
The Rivettes are members of the Timothy Alden Council for donors who give at least $1,815 annually, a number celebrating the College’s founding year. While they served on the council’s executive board, they helped establish the Allegheny Annual Fund Grant Program under which each $5,000 donor contribution made goes directly to a student in need of financial aid. The Rivettes also support campus beautification and student-related activities.
“When I read that Allegheny College started an etiquette dinner for college seniors about how to dine when on an interview, the value was so clear and practical that it called for our financial support,” Judith says. “This past year we finally attended what has become an etiquette lunch offered to third-year students.”
The Rivettes also host an annual “Gator Gathering” in the summer when they invite current and incoming students and families from central New York to their home to forge relationships and share information about life at Allegheny.
Judith learned about philanthropy at home and at school. Her family was not affluent, but they shared what they had. Her parents so valued education that they saw all three of their children through college: “work, loans, and struggle included,” says Judith. Her philanthropy is spiritually grounded and LeMoyne inspired, “in a Jesuit theme that we each have an obligation to give from what we have, based on our shared humanity.”
Rather than giving a little to many causes, the Rivettes focus their support for greatest impact. “When we began to think about what we value, it was pretty easy: education and food — feeding the body and the mind,” Judith says. They also support local food banks.
Judith is a labor judge. Ric works at his firm, Rivette & Rivette PC, in Syracuse. They both earned their J.D. degrees from Syracuse University. Judith has been a labor arbitrator since 1978, hearing cases in the public and private sectors. She has taught at the college level and has written about arbitration and mediation for professional journals and in books. For 12 years she edited a newsletter for the Labor and Employment Section of the New York State Bar Association and served on several of its committees. Judith has also published local histories, two children’s books, and two novels.
As she considers her giving, Judith notes, “I choose to financially support food and education. Politically, I support people who support those things. Professionally, I give back to my calling in ways that enhance the education and the quality of the legal profession. It is full circle that happens because of what giving gives to me.” Today that giving includes Allegheny, and Judith says that she and Ric recently have become even closer to the College because of other relatives attending. She says proudly, “We now claim two cousins and a ‘legacy’ — our niece Lizzie Rivette ’18.”
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