On a typical summer day, when he’s not volunteering on the board of a non-profit organization or serving on the local city council, Doug Walker can be found working in his garden or visiting with neighbors near his home in Beach City. But today, the retired plant manager chose to spend the afternoon advocating for a cause he has always felt strongly about: education.
“I’m a big believer in education,” said Walker. “And it just seems like a crime when people who have the capability of getting an education don’t do it because they lack the financial wherewithal. That’s what drove me to support the Lee College Foundation.”
Born in Washington, D.C., Walker was an ExxonMobil employee for 35 years. During his career, he held many key positions before retiring including manager of the Baytown Olefins Plant and Manufacturing Director of the Singapore Chemical Plant. Throughout his career, as well as retirement, Walker has seen the importance of a higher education in his life and wants to help other people accomplish this goal as well.
“Education opens so many doors,” he said. “It’s a growing experience that allows an individual to fill their potential while helping them advance in the workplace.”
“You couldn’t donate to a better cause than a person’s future.”
Walker has been a devoted member of the Lee College Foundation Board for nearly 20 years. During that time, he and his wife, Inta, have graciously established five endowed scholarships through the Foundation for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford college.
“My hope for giving to the Foundation is to see young people succeed,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to get a good education, which helped me advance in the workplace where I was. And I just hope that’s the case for whoever benefits from these scholarships.”
Doug and Inta have had the opportunity to meet many of the students who directly benefitted from their donations at the annual spring scholarship breakfast hosted by Lee College Foundation. The event provides an opportunity for donors and students to get to know one another, and special recognition is given to new donors who have given scholarships during the previous year.
Both Doug and Inta encourage everyone to get involved in this ongoing community effort, especially if their employer offers a corporate matching program for charitable donations.
Now until Oct. 1, ExxonMobil will donate $3 for every one dollar given by a current ExxonMobil employee, retiree, spouse, or surviving spouse to a college or university. After that date, ExxonMobil will continue matching donations to colleges and universities two dollars for every one dollar for current employees, and a one-to-one match for a retiree, spouse, or surviving spouse.
“It doesn’t matter if you contribute a little or a lot, it will make an impact,” said Pam Warford, executive director of Lee College Foundation and Resource Development.
“Each student who receives a scholarship through the Foundation is impacted forever because someone cared enough to help make their dreams a reality. And that makes donors like Doug and Inta Walker heroes in my book.”
The Lee College Foundation was established in 1968 to provide financial support for deserving students. Because of the selfless generosity of people like the Walker’s, the Foundation will provide a total of $650,000 in scholarship funds to Lee College students this year.
The Foundation will host its annual fundraising gala on September 27, 2019, at the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in La Porte. The event is by reservation only, and the deadline to buy tickets is Sept. 12.
Learn more about the Foundation and how to help students reach their educational goals by contacting Pam Warford, Executive Director, Lee College Foundation and Resource Development, 281-425-6361, or email@example.com.