Louise R. Lester Foundation Donates $10,000 for Scholarships

Published 12:58 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — The goal of Beaufort County Community College and the BCCC Foundation is to make sure that no student is turned away from the college due to lack of funds. With generous gifts such as the recent $10,000 donation from the Louise R. Lester Foundation, the college gets closer to achieving this goal. Half of the donation will be immediately available for scholarships, while the other half will be invested in an endowment to fund future scholarships. This donation continues the Louise R. Lester Foundation’s long commitment to education.

Founded in 2001, the Louse R. Lester Foundation builds on the charitable works of Mrs. Louise Robertson Lester. Lester was a native of Martinsville, Va., and attended Bentley Business College, Gassaway Business College, and, later in life, Patrick Henry Community College and Averett College. She studied interior design, architecture and art. She was an accomplished artist, producing beautiful paintings, and a collection of her poetry has been published under the title of her life’s motto, “Life, Love and Laughter.”

Promoting education and recreation, Lester served on the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation Board, establishing the Victor A. and Louise Robertson Lester Library. She set up various trusts and scholarships at the University of Virginia, Averett College, Ferrum College and the Spencer-Penn School. She also served on the Averett College Board of Trustees.

In 2007, the closed Spencer-Penn School was converted into special events center, with the former school auditorium being named the Louise R. Lester Banquet Hall to honor Lester’s gift, the single largest donation made to the Spencer-Penn Centre.

“Contributions like this can go a long way to helping us fulfill the unmet financial needs of our student body,” said Serena Sullivan, executive director of the BCCC Foundation. “We thank Barry Robertson for his sincere interest in BCCC. He has come to us to seek out the most effective ways for the Louise R. Lester Foundation to help the college.”

The Louise R. Lester Foundation seeks to effect positive change in the communities and lives of the people who are served through its philanthropic support. They seek to build effective relationships with grantees through close communication and a willingness to understand the challenges they face.

Activities of the BCCC Foundation are overseen by a 17-member board of directors comprised of civic and business leaders from BCCC’s four-county service area. The BCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions are tax deductible. The foundation awarded over $98,000 in scholarships to BCCC students during the last year.