Foundation Gala raises record $204,458 for student financial assistance

Baytown, TX – The Lee College Foundation’s 34th annual gala raised $204,458, making it the most successful fundraising gala in the organization’s history. The gala was held Sept. 27 at the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in La Porte, Texas, where more than 300 supporters, community members, and industry leaders attended.

Dr. Dennis Brown, Pam Warford, Jennifer Marcontell
From left, Dr. Dennis Brown, Pam Warford, Jennifer Marcontell 

Ignacio Ramirez, Carol Bartz, Joan Linares, Donna Mohlman, David Mohlman, and Virginia Miller
From left, Ignacio Ramirez, Carol Bartz, Joan Linares, Donna Mohlman, David Mohlman, and Virginia Miller

Suzanne Heinrich, Diane Englert, Lauren Williams, Kelly Regian and Judy Wheat
From left, Suzanne Heinrich, Diane Englert, Lauren Williams, Kelly Regian, and Judy Wheat

The money raised during the event will go directly to deserving Lee College students for tuition scholarships, textbooks, equipment and supplies. Some of the money will also go toward the Student Success fund, which helps students with unexpected expenses directly related to enrollment and persistence in class.

“We are proud to say that the Lee College Foundation is healthy and going strong,” said Pam Warford, Executive Director of Foundation & Resource Development at Lee College. “But the need in our community is still great, and we won’t stop striving until that need is met for every student possible.”

“There is still room for anyone who wants to join us in making a difference in our community and changing lives for generations,” Warford said.

Miguel Lopez, Lee College alumnus and past recipient of the Pat Mann Memorial Scholarship, spoke to the crowd about how pivotal the Foundation has been in his life.

“You made my dream of graduating into a reality,” Lopez told donors. “Your impact on my life has inspired me and many other students to be the next generation of donors.”

Some of the top-selling items in the evening’s live auction included a photo and baseball bat signed by Houston Astros first-baseman Yordan Alvarez, which sold for $1,800; a dinner at the home of Junior and Robin Forrest, owners of Ainsworth & Co. and Junior’s Smokehouse in Highlands, which sold for $2,100; and a catered Super Bowl party at the home of Lee College Board Vice Chairman Gilbert Santana, which sold for $2,000.

Last academic year, the Lee College Foundation raised a total of $1.2 million through donations and investment returns. Established in 1968, the Lee College Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of students by providing financial assistance wherever it is needed. For more information, contact Pam Warford at 281.425.6361 or visit http://www.lee.edu/foundation/.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee offers late-start fall classes, raises funds to aid Harvey victims

College also creates new payment plan to help students better afford tuition this semester

BAYTOWN, TX — After opening its doors as a shelter for local residents displaced by Hurricane Harvey, Lee College is continuing its efforts to support students and employees through recovery by offering late start registration and flexible payment plans, and raising money for those in need.

Late start classes

It’s not too late for students who were unable to make the Sept. 5 start date for the fall 2017 semester to enroll in classes at Lee College this term.

The college is offering a late start 13-week session that will begin Monday, Sept. 18, and an 8-week session that will begin Monday, Oct. 23. Registration for both sessions is now open and additional classes are available. For more information, contact the Student Success & Advising Center at 281.425.6384 or counselor@lee.edu.

Flexible payment plans

The college has introduced a new payment plan after Hurricane Harvey to help make the cost of tuition and fees more affordable this fall.

Students can make a 25 percent down payment and pay off the remaining balance with three additional payments in October, November and December. Students can also make a 50 percent down payment and pay off the remaining balance over two additional payments in October and November. Students can enroll in their chosen payment plan online through Friday, Sept. 22. For more information, contact the Business Office at 281.425.6324 or visit www.lee.edu/businessoffice.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Just after the storm hit the area, Lee College launched the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to benefit students, faculty and staff facing unforeseen hardships. Many of those in need of help have lost textbooks and other belongings due to flooding, or need assistance with the costs of transportation, food and other items. To donate to the fund, visit www.lee.edu/harveydonations or contact Pam Warford, executive director of Foundation and Resource Development, at 281.425.6361 or pwarford@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee College Foundation Gala raises record $175,000 for scholarships and support

Foundation Board will award a total of more than $470,000 to students this academic year

Gala Fundraiser
The Thursday Night Band, a Lee College ensemble featuring students Emily Vaughan, Simon Flores, and Andrew Adams-Whitehead, performs at the 31st annual Lee College Foundation Gala, held in September at Sylvan Beach Pavilion in LaPorte. The gala raised a record $175,000 that will be used for student scholarships and other forms of support.

BAYTOWN, TX — With nearly 400 guests in attendance and $175,000 raised, the 31st annual Lee College Foundation Gala was a record-breaking success that will help ensure deserving students at all levels will have the scholarships and other forms of support they need to pursue higher education.

And while many college and university foundations only offer scholarships to students attending school full-time, the Lee College Foundation will  instead focus on meeting students’ needs wherever they are.

Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, the foundation will award more than $470,000 to students this academic year, and all are eligible: those enrolled full-time; part-time; in dual-credit classes for high-school students to earn college credits; in non-credit classes offered by the Center for Workforce and Community Development; and in the Lee College Huntsville Center prison program.

“Many of our students are surprised and amazed that somebody they don’t know is willing to donate funds to help them get an education,” said Pam Warford, executive director of the Lee College Foundation and director of Foundation and Donor Relations. “The gala provides an opportunity for industry and the community to celebrate together and gives us the chance to thank those donors, who are so loyal and proud to have their own community college that’s doing so well.”

Tax-deductible contributions from industry and private donors are also used to support the Student Success Fund, created to help those facing extraordinary circumstances pay for college-related expenses. When a student was notified that she would receive a Pell Grant for her tuition — but not before the deadline when her classes would be dropped for non-payment — the Student Success Fund helped bridge the gap. When a student received a $400 textbook scholarship but still lacked several books she needed for her rigorous coursework in the nursing program, the Student Success Fund provided the additional money to buy all the books required for her class.

“Enrollment is one thing, but students have to persist, stay the course and graduate,” said Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown. “So many little things can impede a student’s progress and we have to be able to step in and help them. Financial contributions are immensely important — more important now than ever.”

As the foundation continues in its mission to provide financial support to Lee College students, board members hope to see more donors choosing planned giving by setting up bequests, charitable trusts and annuities that will allow them to make a lasting difference for generations to come.

“I’m excited about my future,” said Emily Vaughan, a native Baytonian and foundation scholarship recipient who is active in Lee College Theatre and plans to attend Sam Houston State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education at Sam Houston State University. “None of this would be possible without donations. They really lightened my load.”

For more information about giving to the Lee College Foundation, contact Warford at pwarford@lee.edu or visit www.lee.edu/foundation.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Sell-out crowd expected for Lee College Foundation Gala

Highly anticipated event raises money for scholarships and other student support

Photo of those attending the 2015 Gala.
The 30th annual Lee College Foundation Gala held in 2015 drew 350 guests and raised a record-setting $150,000 for scholarships and other forms of student support. Tickets for this year’s gala have already sold out.

BAYTOWN, TX — A sell-out crowd will enjoy food, music, silent and live auctions and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Lee College students at the 31st annual Lee College Foundation Gala, which will be held at Sylvan Beach Pavilion to raise much-needed funds for scholarships and other forms of student support.

The gala is set for Thursday, Sept. 15, and will begin with a social hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Lee College student musical ensembles and Skyline, a Houston-based band well known for deftly performing a wide range of styles — from classic rock and country to Motown, Latin, jazz and the big band sound that was popular at the historic pavilion in its heyday.

“Over the years, attendance and proceeds from the gala have increased due to the generosity of individuals, businesses and industry in this community and the surrounding area,” said Pam Warford, executive director of the Lee College Foundation. “These donors believe in education and realize that it can change lives and open doors to opportunities. Students continue to be amazed that contributors have given money to help someone they’ve never met attend college.”

The first Foundation Gala was held in the early 1980s at the suggestion of board members — both to raise money, and to raise awareness of the foundation’s mission to provide for the needs of Lee College students through scholarships and other types of student support. Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, the foundation will award more than $450,000 in scholarships in this academic year. The 30th annual Foundation Gala held last year raised a record-setting $150,000.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.