Stark Foundation gives largest donation in LSCO history

Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

To The Leader


Lamar State College Orange is pleased to announce the largest grant in the school’s 50-year history, thanks to the gracious consideration from the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

This $1 million dollar pledge is part of a longstanding relationship between the Stark Foundation and Lamar State College Orange. Since 2011, with scholarships in the amount of $500,000 paid to date by the Stark Foundation, together with the new pledge, the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Scholarship Program at LSCO will total $1.5 million.

Dr. Thomas Johnson, President of Lamar State College Orange, said of the scholarship, “We are extremely fortunate to have such a generous, philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving lives in our community. To show LSCO’s appreciation for the Foundation’s generosity, the College sought and received approval from the Texas State University System Board of Regents to rename the Nursing Classroom Building in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Stark.”

The Stark Foundation has a long history of supporting LSCO. Between 1961 and 2007 the Foundation awarded multiple grants totaling more than $133,000. In 2000, a grant was awarded in the amount of $673,000 for the completion of LSCO’s Allied Health Building.

In 2011, in honor of its own 50th anniversary, the Foundation developed a scholarship program benefiting students attending Lamar State College Orange. Since the establishment of the scholarship, the Stark Foundation has bequeathed $500,000 to Lamar State College Orange.

With the new partnership, the Stark Foundation will provide $100,000 annually to Lamar State College Orange for a minimum of 10 years. Now, in Lamar State College Orange’s 50th year, the cooperative relationship between the two institutions has been strengthened with the announcement by Tad McKee, President of the Stark Foundation, that “We at the Stark Foundation are pleased to collaborate and assist Lamar State College Orange in our mutual commitment to promote a multitude of educational and vocational opportunities for the citizens in our area.”

Walter G. Riedel III and Dr. J. Michael Shahan, previous leaders of the Foundation and College, developed this scholarship program which has provided the opportunity for more than 500 students to complete their higher education goals.

Now under the leadership of J. Robert Clark, Chairman of the Stark Foundation, and Dr. Thomas Johnson, President

of LSCO, the partnership will be able to expand the scholarships well into the future.

This generous gift is part of the Foundation’s mission to encourage and assist education as well as enrich the quality of life for citizens in Southeast Texas.

The scholarship funding will be available for first-time freshmen, transfer students, and non-traditional students studying various nursing, allied health, science, academic, industrial technology,and other vocational career paths.

The Stark Foundation Scholarships are administered by the Lamar State College Orange Scholarship Committee under the leadership of Lynn Scales.