Jackson, MS – Students and faculty members of Lone Star College-CyFair Campus in Texas have funded a scholarship endowment in honor of their former Phi Theta Kappa advisors, Susan and Jeff Edwards.
The Edwards left their positions as professors and Phi Theta Kappa advisors at Lone Star in 2006 when Susan accepted the position of Dean of Honors Programs at the Society’s Center for Excellence. After the couple moved to Mississippi, Jeff Edwards became a professor and Phi Theta Kappa advisor at Holmes Community College, Goodman Campus.
Under the leadership of Jeff Edwards and fellow advisors Billy Wilson and Will Alexander, the Kappa Alpha Chapter was Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished Chapter in both 2011 and 2012.The Edwards also led the Beta Lambda Mu Chapter at Lone Star-CyFair to a Most Distinguished award in 2006, and Susan Edwards, along with advisors Bennie Ables and David Wilcox, led the Omega Sigma Chapter at Houston Community College to a Most Distinguished title prior to joining the faculty at CyFair.
Jeff Edwards recently accepted a position as Phi Theta Kappa’s Dean of Regional and Chapter Development.
The endowment will provide a $1,000 scholarship annually to a full-time student at Lone Star-CyFair who is a single mother.
“In 2007-2008, our officers wanted to make a difference and assist students who faced the greatest obstacles in college. After discussions with the Financial Aid and Registration Offices, the Beta Lambda Mu Officers determined single mothers faced the greatest financial obstacles to completion,” said Dr. Sandra D. Harvey, former chapter advisor who serves as Department Chair of History/Anthropology/Geography at Cy-Fair. “They decided to create an endowment and name it in honor of Susan and Jeff Edwards, former Beta Lambda Mu advisors, who not only founded the chapter, but propelled it to academic excellence during their tenure. “
Dr. Harvey said the chapter knew raising the necessary money would be challenging, but the students were determined — designing bracelets sold during Women’s History Month bearing the word “Woman” in the top five languages spoken at Lone Star College-CyFair, hosting duck races on campus ponds, building raised garden beds at local day cares to provide environmental educational facilities, and enlisting the assistance of faculty. Dr. Harvey added that advisors Esther Robinson and Idolina Hernandez played a huge role in getting the process off the ground as did the Faculty Senate, whose silent auction funds helped endow the scholarship.
“After several years and with the assistance of many students, faculty, and community members, the Susan and Jeff Edwards Scholarship for Single Mothers is finally endowed and we are very grateful for the efforts of many individuals,” Dr. Harvey said. “I am proud of the work the students did in identifying this group of deserving students and their creativity in developing the endowment.”
Darcy Mingoia, Director of Lone Star College’s Foundation Office, said the scholarship criterion requires that the recipient be a full-time student who has completed at least 12 credit hours with a minimum 2.5 grade point average.
“We are grateful for the numerous donors who helped make this scholarship possible,” Mingoia said. “The legacy of teaching excellence and service displayed by Susan and Jeff will be honored in perpetuity by this endowment.”
Former Beta Lambda Mu chapter officer Wayne Larrow said he and fellow officers established the scholarship as an everlasting memento for the inspiring work that Susan and Jeff Edwards have done for students, Phi Theta Kappa, and the college. “Looking back, the Edwards’ greatest ability was recognizing the unlimited potential in students and doing what they do best — cultivating that potential, usually through Phi Theta Kappa,” Larrow said. “The scholarship is an extension of the kindness and support the Edwards have given countless students now and for many generations to come.”
Susan and Jeff Edwards said they were honored that former Beta Lambda Mu officers named the endowment for them and friends from Lone Star College-CyFair helped make it happen. “The dedication of these officers and donors to helping Lone Star College students continue working toward their degrees is typical of the outstanding work they have done since the college opened in 2002 to make Beta Lambda Mu and the college a leading force in the community,” the Edwards said. “We are looking forward to meeting the first recipient of the scholarship this year. “
“We applaud Lone Star-CyFair’s initiative to honor their former advisors by presenting a scholarship in their names that will help deserving students complete their credentials,” said Dr. Nancy Rieves, Executive Director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “We are happy to help any other chapters who would like to honor their current or former advisors in some way – whether it is a commemorative brick in the Center for Excellence Courtyard, a gift to the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Fund in the advisor’s name, or a fully endowed scholarship.”
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.