Foundation History


Foundation Profile

In the early 1990’s, interested persons traveled from near and far to pledge their support to the many efforts of Lawson State Community College. The organizational meeting of the Board of Directors (named in the Articles of Incorporation pursuant to a written Waiver of Notice) was held and those present were:

  • Mr. Comer Cottrell (Dallas, TX) (elected President)
  • The Honorable Shirley Chisholm (Palm Coast, FL)
  • Dr. Shelly Stewart (Birmingham, AL)
  • Mr. Paul Harris (Birmingham, AL)
  • Ms. Charlena Bray (Birmingham, AL
  • Mr. Tim Lewis (Birmingham, AL)
  • Rev John Nettles (Montgomery, Alabama)
Those unable to attend:
  • Ms. Peggy Clarke (Homewood, AL)
  • Mr. George Sherling (Birmingham, AL)
  • Mrs. Gaile Pugh Gratton (Birmingham, AL)
  • Mr. E. Gene Thrasher (Birmingham, AL)
  • Mr. Theophilus Phillips (Fairfield, AL)
  • Dr. Eddie Blankenship (Birmingham, AL)

Others in attendance included: Dr. Ethel Hall, Dr. Willie Kimmons, Dr. Bettye Berry, and Dr. Calvin Rolark.

Dr. Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College, served as Chairman and Secretary of the Meeting. He informed the body that the Articles of Incorporation must be accepted by the Board, filed and recorded, thus creating the Foundation. Also, in this meeting, Article VI was changed to correctly number the “initial Board of Directors” from nine (9) to fourteen (14). Those selected would serve until their successors were elected and qualified.

Dr. Ward discussed in detail each Article of Incorporation and each section of the By-Laws. He also emphasized that the Foundation will operate as a separate entity of Lawson State in the interest of Lawson State.

The Lawson State Community College Foundation was officially incorporated on February 9, 1995. Chartered under the laws of the state of Alabama, as a non-profit, educational corporation, the Lawson State Foundation would be empowered to encourage, receive and administer gifts for the exclusive benefit of the College, its students and its staff. It would raise money for a permanent endowment for the College including receiving and maintaining a fund or funds of real or personal property.

The officers elected were: Paul Harris, president; Charlena Bray, secretary; and Tim Lewis, vice president and treasurer.

Over the years, Foundation activities have continued with focus and purpose. The Foundation Board has enthusiastically supported and promoted academic, cultural and sports activities on behalf of the College. These have included golf tournaments and departmental fundraisers for academic/college transfer and career technical divisions, in particular, business technologies, nursing, cosmetology and barbering. Realizing another need, the Foundation also made purchase of a bus for college transportation.

A major activity recently was the launching of the Capital Campaign Drive. Its contributions would be used for construction of the College’s highly anticipated Center for Excellence In Information Technology Training and Placement Center. An unprecedented gift, the College’s first $1 million dollar contribution, was used to begin the effort. Now, the imposing building, officially named the Perry W. Ward Advanced Technology and Training Center, blends education, training, and technology resources to meet the changing needs of students, employers and the community. As part of this project, brick pavers were also made available to the Lawson State family and public for purchase and dedication.

Today, the Lawson State Community College Foundation remains committed to the College and its present activities and looks with even greater anticipation to future endeavors.