The fall semester at Robeson Community College ended last week. The college officially closes for the holidays on Wednesday and will reopen on Jan. 2. Late registration for curriculum classes will be held on Jan. 3, and classes will begin on Jan. 7.
Faculty, staff and students will have a few days to reflect on the past year and spend time with family over the holiday season before returning for the spring semester in January. Christmas is a joyous season, but as the RCC family looks back on the past year we have quite a few bittersweet memories as we have lost three family members since last December.
At the time of his death last December, Lee Sessoms had taught in the Human Resource Development program at Robeson Community College for over 10 years. Lee, a lifelong Lumberton resident, is survived by his mother, Ellen.
Since giving and sharing with others is a big part of the Christmas season it seems appropriate at this time of year to acknowledge others who exemplify that spirit. Lee was known on campus as a generous and giving person and his friends and family have chosen to acknowledge his generous spirit by giving back to RCC through the Robeson Community College Foundation.
Under the leadership of Lee’s friend Edwin Britt, friends and family have established an endowed scholarship in Lee’s memory through the RCC Foundation. This need and merit-based scholarship will go to a Lumberton High School graduate between the ages of 18 and 28 who earns a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Regular readers of this paper will remember the tragic loss of Gail Gane this past summer as her accident received a lot of media coverage. Gail, a native of Charlotte, served as the clinical coordinator for the Respiratory Therapy program at RCC. She was married to Lumberton native Dwight Gane and had made Lumberton her home for a number of years. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons, Dwight Jr. and Daniel.
Gail was also known as a caring and generous person. Outside of her job at RCC, she devoted much of her time to helping less fortunate animals as she raised funds for and supported the Robeson County Humane Society. Director of RCC’s Respiratory Therapy program Kelli Heustess and Assistant Vice President of Educational Services Shelia Regan chose to honor Gail’s generous spirit by creating the Gail O. Gane Respiratory Therapy Endowed Scholarship which will go to a Respiratory student at RCC who earns a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Isaac Thompson, who worked in the college bookstore for 9 years, passed away this fall. Isaac is survived by three children and several siblings including Betty McIntyre, who serves as RCC’s Assistant Registrar. Isaac was a gentle giant whose smile will be missed at the college bookstore.
If there is someone on your Christmas list for whom you find it difficult to buy, consider making a donation to one of these scholarships in that person’s honor. While an endowment hasn’t been established in Thompson’s name yet, the Foundation would certainly accept gifts given in his memory, or if an individual or group of individuals would like to make a commitment to funding an endowed scholarship, one can be established in Thompson’s memory.
The Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization which can qualify gifts as charitable tax deductions. Donors get the satisfaction of having given to a good cause and honorees will probably consider the gift one of the best he or she has “received,” knowing that a less fortunate and well-deserving student has been assisted through your generosity.
If you would like to make a more substantial commitment to the Foundation, you might consider endowing a scholarship. Endowed scholarships can be established in honor of a living person or in memory of a departed loved one. With endowed scholarships the gift or gifts are invested and scholarships are granted from the earnings on the investments. This structure ensures benefits from the donors’ gifts in perpetuity.
Whether you are interested in endowing a scholarship or giving a one-time gift, Foundation Director Rebekah Lowry will be happy to assist you. You can reach her at email@example.com or by calling the Foundation office at 910-272-3236.
From all of us at Robeson Community College, we wish you a Merry Christmas.
Dennis Watts is the public information officer at Robeson Community College. If you have questions about RCC or suggestions for future articles, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.